Alexander Albon, Red Bull, Nurburgring, 2020

Albon annoyed by his Eifel Grand Prix performance

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In the round-up: Alexander Albon admits he isn’t happy with his performance in the Eifel Grand Prix after flat-spotting his tyres early on and being penalised for a collision with Daniil Kvyat.

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What they say

Albon reflected on a tough race which resulted in his third point-less finish of the year after Red Bull retired his car due to radiator damage:

I locked up. Obviously on a track like this, with a track temperature like this, that’s the worst thing to do. We boxed, came through and had I think some power unit issue or something, I’m not too sure.

Obviously the pace in the car is good so it’s annoying to have a result like this now. But to be honest, I mean on my side, I wasn’t really too happy with my race. Just a few mistakes and obviously the lock-up compromised a lot.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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  • 57 comments on “Albon annoyed by his Eifel Grand Prix performance”

    1. Albon was really poor today. Is the car that hard to drive and Max ridiculously good or is Albon simply not good enough (possibly a mix of both)

      I inagine for the first time since they joined F1, Red Bull will be looking away from its young driver programme for next year.

      1. Impossible to know fully. But Albon has had some strong drives in races – were it not for a couple of run-ins with Hamilton he’d have probably accrued enough good results and points early in the season to ward off much of the current criticism.
        The car clearly is hard for him to drive, as it was hard for Gasly to drive last year. Verstappen managing it well is probably a reflection of his set-up preferences and his skill to adapt. It was a bad race for Albon though, and I’m sure the results are wearing on him as they wore on Gasly last year. His qualifying was a positive, but the race was dire.
        I’d be disappointed if RB dropped Albon out unless they were bringing a top driver in to replace him, and returning him to AT at Kyvat’s expense (who I don’t think deserves his seat any longer). In my view, RB need to either stump up the cash to poach a real star, or keep on with Albon and work to make their car more generally driveable.

      2. Is the car that hard to drive and Max ridiculously good or is Albon simply not good enough

        So curious about this. I wanna say he can’t be that good but we’ve certainly seen some amazing car control skill from him. I’ve seen others float the theory that the entire car has basically been built around him so it’s expected that he’s way more “tuned-in” with it than a jr. driver who gets called up to RBR with barely a simulation done in the car. But can a car be that specific to a single driver?

        1. Or max gets set up priority

          1. That sort of thinking doesn’t hold water. Red Bull are spending hundreds of millions a year to participate in this sport. Every point earns them money. Every time Albon can be in position to pressure Mercedes pit strategy benefits Verstappen.
            Personally I think it’s clear that Verstappen, for all his flaws in the first few years in F1, has become a much more mature driver and he is very, very fast indeed. He is definitely a faster driver than Albon.
            Unless you are prepared to say that Red Bull would rather lose tens of millions of [currency] a year just to massage Verstappen’s ego, it makes no sense to think that they are sabotaging Albon (and if you are, I’ve got a bridge you might be interested in).

            1. @bookgrub to play devil’s advocate, there have been those within Red Bull who have indicated they believe there would also be considerable commercial value to Red Bull to make Verstappen the youngest ever driver to win the World Drivers Championship, particularly as he’d basically be guaranteed that record given the changes to the Superlicence system.

              It’s unlikely, I grant you, but I wouldn’t say it is completely impossible given the team has discussed the commercial interest in maximising Max’s advertising value and taking advantage of his increased advertising value and the potential revenue streams from his fan base.

            2. anon, unless you think Albon is clearly either a better driver than Verstappen or at least on par with him (and IMO nothing at all suggests that’s the case) then giving Albon the best setup and support they can manage without compromising Verstappen, which would be pretty damn good support if they could do a good job with both Verstappen and Ricciardo – maybe not equal, but pretty good – would do a lot more to help Max to a championship than having Albon rolling around in the midfield not helping with points or strategy or pressure on Mercedes.
              I can think of no genuine reason where Verstappen or RB benefit from only having one car up at the pointy end reliably, and a lot where the opposite is true.

          2. set-up “priority” huh. How does that work? One engineer walks over to Max’s car, manually adjusts all the heights, and then checks if he has time to do it on Albon’s car?

            lmao.

            1. @aiii it is more that the team has confirmed that they have concentrated their most experienced engineers and mechanics on Verstappen’s side of the garage, with Albon’s crew comprising of the less experienced members of the team – for example, before Rennie was recalled, the race engineer Albon was given had no experience in Formula 1 at all, having been promoted straight into that position from Formula 2.

            2. @anon
              Sure, we can listen to you and blame it on engineers, or we can listen to what Albon says himself:

              “It’s hard to really pinpoint truthfully,” explains Albon, when asked about the key issue he has faced. “I just want more confidence.

              “I think for Max, he’s on the limit all the way through the corner. And he’s definitely not afraid of it moving around on him. You can watch a qualifying lap of Max and you can see how how he’s hustling it.

              In short: Max is far better driving a car that is unstable.

              So, and now start crying again about me posting!

        2. Different drivers have different styles– Vettel, for instance, needs a solidly planted rear end of the car. Webber wanted a bit more dynamic rear end, so any time the car suited Vettel, it was more difficult for Webber.

      3. If one driver can constantly put it on the podium, then the car is atleast food enough for a consistent P5/6 IMO

      4. With or without the car Albon lacks spatial awareness and is shortsighted to make stupid mistakes costing him points and places. Yesterday’s events show how badly he needs his vision checked and how lucky he was to escape penalty in Hungary where he drove over the front wing of Grosjean ruining Gorsjean’s race.

        1. Forgot about Albon taking out K-Mag in Silverstone GP, so overall 50% of races where he has had on track ding-dongs with his rivals.

    2. Horner should be begging, pleading for DRicc to come back to RBR. Marko should prostrate himself in front of DRicc. I have not done the sums, but think how much prize money RBR has missed out on since DRicc left the team.

      1. I’m trying to think if I’ve ever heard Ricciardo express or display any like regret over leaving Redbull – he seems closer to that sentiment leaving Renault and the other teams seem to be paying him top whack so that covers “not for love or money” doesn’t it?

      2. Ricciardo is the real deal. Max is just a pretender. Vettel 2.0 in the making.

        1. Four WDC’s for Max, not too shabby.

        2. Depends on what your criteria and objectives are..

      3. I have not done the sums, but think how much prize money RBR has missed out on since DRicc left the team.

        It probably cost them 2nd last year, but I doubt that it would’ve made any difference this year. That’s probably worth some $10M.

        They saved more on his salary over these 2 years though and possibly the super license fee to FIA (assuming the team reimburses this) ;)

      4. Exactly. Last night I was trying to estimate how much Red Bull had lost by having Ricciardo leave them, and it made my head spin. But for one, I hope they go on being a one-car team for some more time, because there is some poetic justice in it.

        One can spin Ricciardo’s decision the way one wants, but I don’t think for one moment that he would have left if he hadn’t been extremely hard done by when the Baku 2018 crash happened, and Red Bull refused to apportion the blame between the two drivers. It was there for all the world to see, except for Max fans, that Max was at fault. By saying nothing about it, Red Bull officially and publicly anointed their golden boy, exactly in the same way that they anointed Vettel as their golden boy after the Turkey 2010 crash. One can understand why they did that, but now they are paying the price, and I don’t feel sorry for them.

        1. @palindnilap – Agree, losing Riccardo has brought nothing but constant pain to RBR and i don’t feel sorry for them either. Mercedes way of doing things is the new bench mark, 2 strong drivers, strong car, strong work ethic, strong team cohesion, respect for their rivals and most importantly not being complacent.

          Once another team adopts a similar sort of philosophy (Please let it be McLaren!), then we’ll see.

        2. @palindnilap My guess is that it’s mostly about Ricciardo not wanting his start shot down by Verstappen, but agree the team blatant favoritism as shown by the Baku incident counted for a lot too.

      5. I have not done the sums, but think how much prize money RBR has missed out on since DRicc left the team.

        Absolutely, this has really cost them. Nice with Ricciardo’s vindication, but this is too much.

      6. Ricciardo showed up at Red Bull as a junior driver, smacked the 4 time world champion around until he left, and suddenly, instead of focusing on their senior driver, it was all about The Max.

        Yeah– Ricciardo won’t go back to Red Bull. Definitely not while Max is there, and probably not ever.

    3. The case for Perez to Red Bull is getting stronger and stronger. I hope it happens, Albon should race Gasly at AT for a couple of seasons whilst Perez picks up some points.

      1. Albon: ‘They race me so hard!’

        He’s not suited for F1. maybe he should go to FE or back to F2.

        1. That was against kvyat tho. I think albon simply assumed the alpha tauris would just roll over and take it really easy with him because he is in red bull. Turns out they’ll probably race him even harder. And why not if it is for position.

        2. Albon: “They race me so hard!”

          Brundle: “Welcome to Formula 1.” Commentary of the day!

      2. @john-h Albon-Gasly at AT isn’t going to happen if at least one driver from the academy becomes eligible for a super license to compete in F1 next season, and at the moment, two drivers have a chance to become eligible.

        1. I still think Gasly would be a perfect fit at Renault/Alpine.

      3. Something i just heard on the Radio (BRB) seems a certain Hulk was called by a certain doctor last friday to maybe replace Albon which had a undecided test (corona) at that moment.
        So now we know who is RB reserve driver for things like this.

        I think Albon his faith in himself is the problem here sometimes he is very good then rookie mistakes (this is his second year) he just need a constant last 6 races.

      4. @john-h I believe even Horner has admitted that Marko is too invested in his young driver program, so there will never be anyone outside that.

      5. I expect Perez and Hulkenberg to both wind up at Haas.

    4. Well, call me cold, but Albon had plenty of time. And so had Marko.

      Time to make it simple. Bring whoever can play the best wingman role and help RB have at least a chance at the championship till year end in 2021.

    5. A lot of people were locking up and the cold tires probably didn’t help albon if he finds the cars handling knife-edge. Still it was a howler. When they retired the car I thought they had just fired him on the spot after his penalty.

      1. So did I! I thought RBR would Simon a random spectator to replace Albon on the spot! “Hey, you. Yes, you in the blue jacket. Come on here and drive that car for us!”

      2. I also thought he was fired right there and then LOL. I wasa thinking why are tehy retiring the car, is it because he took out one AT and looked at taking out another car, and the ‘They race me so hard’ comment, I thought they must have retired him as a last straw, before he damaged anyone else and with a new driver next race.

    6. Yeah well I think we can all agree that the Albon experiment has failed at RBR. Similar to Gasly, this doesn’t mean he is a bad driver, its possibly down to the fact that expectations at RBR are that much higher, perhaps the environment is more tense. While over at Alpha Tauri, things may be a little bit more relaxed.

      Drivers have always been sensitive to their environments. Some drivers cultivate the environment that suits them, others adapt, some dont. Albon appears to be in the latter camp, along with Gasly and Kvyatt.

      If RBR are quite safe in second now, with no hope of winning any championships, but there may come a time, possibly as soon as next year, where a good points all each weekend, may be the difference between 2nd and 3rd, or however unlikely, 1st and 2nd. They would be foolish to be not considering Hulk or Perez at this very moment.

      1. A stronger #2 in the RBR might be beneficial as far as helping Verstappen to 2nd in the WDC.

      2. I would put Hulk in there for a year. Gas and Albon to race in AT next year, Kvyatt off to pasture.

        Then after thaty year, evaluate Hulk, Gas, Alb and pick the best one for 2022

    7. Red Bull should accept they’ve got no one to race alongside Verstappen and hire someone outside their program. Even if just for a season.
      Hulkenberg or Perez. Send Albon back to the junior team and let Kvyat go for once and for all.

      1. @Edvaldo In a scenario of Hulkenberg or Perez at RBR, Albon would probably be gone altogether along with Kvyat given how likely it is that at least one drive from Red Bull’s program is going to become eligible for a super license if not even two after the amendments FIA made to the super license criteria due to COVID.

    8. The most annoying thing about this whole situation is that REDBULL and the lazy punditry are using Albon pathetic performance to claim Max prowse. Apparenty the car so twitchy and only Max can handle it…come on

      Albon relatively speaking in F1 terms is a third rate driver who was just about mediocre in lower series

      1. This weekend both drivers said the upgrades were very good in making the car more stable. And with more pratice they could get more from the package.
        Albon Qualify was already much beter the race that bad start and the lockup make him very desperate. (sounds a bit familiar)

      2. lazy punditry

        How appropriate.

    9. As much as I want Albon to do well there’s only so much “it’s a difficult car” that I believe. For sure the team must tell some truths but it can’t be so bad otherwise no set up in the world would allow Verstappen to consistently finish p2 and p3. There is no escaping the fact Gasly is only 11 or 13 points behind Albon, Redbull need a Perez, Hulk, type of driver to help develop the car and pick up solid p4, p5 points.

    10. I’ve been defending Albon all season, but the best I can do now is a simple “these rookies aren’t ready for top drives in their second year of F1.” Yes, people like Max, and Leclerc, they can pull that kind of move off and perform. I’m sure Russell is one of those, too, were Merc to ever give him an inkling of an opportunity, but these other guys like Gasly, Albon, Ocon, Kvyat, just need a bit more time and preparation before they can join a top team with all that pressure, that huge team around them, and the expectation of getting a certain level of performance 100% of the time.

      Albon’s in his own head now, he’s in his head during the race starts, then he’s in his head to make up the positions from his bad starts, then he’s in his head because he has to pit early due to flat spotting, then he’s in his head because he feels he should be back up the field within a few laps, and then he’s in his head all the way from the end of the race until the next race. And from what we can see on track, he’s yet to break that cycle, his (somewhat fortunate) podium could’ve given him a break, but it seems like his >.5s deficit to Verstappen in practice and qualifying undid that right quick.

      At this point, nobody is helped by this situation, if Helmut can get over his pride over the junior programma, they really need to sign Hulkenberg for next season and just let the rookies currently in F2 and F3 mature until they’re actually ready for being in a top team, because this method just isn’t working, at all.

    11. VER didn’t have any help from ALB in any race, ok (same goes for GAS btw). But he also didn’t steal a point from him so VER can still dream of 2nd place in de WDC. I guess it works both ways

    12. I really can’t see Perez (great as he is) at Red Bull. He just doesn’t fit their MO of signing skinny young men pulling goofy GIFs. Perez is more likely at Haas I would think.

      1. One would think Horner is looking for the best available and that would be Perez.

    13. About the RaceFans Supporters Drive, I could pay more per month than the £1 currently. I know I can donate separately and will likely do that for Xmas, but a larger monthly draw would be most practical.

      1. @keithcollantine I would recommend the Ars Technica subscription model to you. It’s not exactly apples to apples, they produce a significant amount more content with a much larger team, but having two tiers of support and some additional perks for higher tier subscription would be welcomed by me.
        In particular, PDF downloads of articles, subscriber-only forum area, and (most important to me personally) full text of stories in RSS feeds are all things I’d give a little extra for. If I’m already paying for ad-free then having the option to skim-read a story in the feed and jump either to the full view of the article or straight to comments is very handy for me.

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