Alexander Albon, Red Bull, Autodromo do Algarve, 2020

Albon: I have “no set goals” to satisfy to keep Red Bull seat

2020 Portuguese Grand Prix

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Alexander Albon says he has no set goals from Red Bull to meet in order to secure his seat with the team for the 2021 F1 season.

He qualifying sixth on the grid for the Portuguese Grand Prix, 0.533 seconds behind team mate Max Verstappen. Earlier this weekend to Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said Albon needs a “strong weekend” both in Portugal and at next weekend’s Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix.

“I know I’ve got to get the job done,” said Albon. “That’s no secret in this sport. Obviously, performance is priority, but there are no set goals in terms of statistics or anything.

“It’s just improvements and, of course, closing the gap to Max. That’s a very easy way to look at it. But in terms of that sense, I haven’t been given an instruction.”

Although Albon was outqualified by his team mate plus Charles Leclerc and Sergio Perez around the Autodromo do Algarve, the Red Bull driver believes he is getting stronger in qualifying as the season progresses.

“I feel qualifying has been improving,” he says. “Of course, there’s still a gap [to Verstappen]. But in general I feel like things are coming together a bit more and you just need good weekends, clean weekends. I think that’s important.”

Despite Horner’s comments having sparked fresh speculation in the media over Albon’s future with Red Bull, the 24-year-old said he pays no attention to any commentary on his position in the team.

“Truthfully, I don’t care what the media has to say,” Albon said in response to a question from RaceFans.

“I’m focussed on the relationship between me and the team and the lap time in the car. There’s nothing that’s going to change my lap time by looking at my phone. So I kind of focus on the stuff that matters.

Albon currently sits seventh in the drivers’ championship on 64 points, 83 behind team mate Max Verstappen in third place.

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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22 comments on “Albon: I have “no set goals” to satisfy to keep Red Bull seat”

  1. That’s no secret in this sport. Obviously, performance is priority, but there are no set goals in terms of statistics or anything.

    “It’s just improvements and, of course, closing the gap to Max. That’s a very easy way to look at it. But in terms of that sense, I haven’t been given an instruction.”

    At this point, he does not need to be told what he needs to achieve. He is supposed to already know what his objectives are.

  2. I think Dr Marko has set goals in mind even if Alex doesn’t. Stay within three tenths of Max.

  3. 0.5 seconds in too much..

  4. He needs to improve. Period. Whereas Verstappen is a clear 3rd place and sometimes even better than that, he needs to be at least a clear 4th, all the time, not once in a while, like he’s doing, struggling to be ahead of the pack.

    But it may be too late already.

    1. I would say it’s too late, if Hulk hasn’t already signed his contact, I’m sure it’s just because his manager is working through the fine print with Red Bull.

      And Albon can only blame himself, if you can’t perform with a car that strong, then that’s on you.

      1. I hope you’re right

  5. Is the standard he needs to meet based on Mr Marko’s arbitrary opinion then?

  6. Maybe qualifying within three tenths of Max and finishing directly behind him every race would be favourable? And occasionally supporting max in his battles with the mercs?

  7. Looks like thai connections stronger than whatever helmet and hotny can do.

    Come on Albon!!!
    Start beating that spoilt kid in the other car.

    1. Spoiled? There’s no way he can beat verstappen, there’s only 2 drivers who maybe could, and they’re hamilton and leclerc. But he should definitely be closer than he is!

    2. Lol , am I sensing a little bit of jealousy Rottweiler?

  8. It’s unfair to compare Albon to Max because Max is the most supreme driver on the grid. That car has no business being a tenth off a Mercedes.

    1. So Oconomo/David Bondo, why do you constantly dismiss Red Bull as being a bunch of incompetent amateurs? It is the strangest thing that it makes you look like the person who has the most contempt for both Red Bull and Honda on this site, since according to you their chassis is terrible and slow and their engines are total garbage.

      Is it somehow sacrilegious to you to suggest that Red Bull might actually have a car that is a lot better than you seem to think it is, and it is not down to the Christ-like divine powers of St Verstappen? Are you fixated on the desperate need to scourge away the heretics who do not worship Max with the fanaticism of a zealot like yourself?

      1. +1000 Adrian Newey

      2. Indeed, I don’t understand how one can’t simply say verstappen is particularly strong while also recognizing red bull is clearly the 2nd best car, unfortunately it’s not strong enough to consistently challenge mercedes but there’s still nowhere verstappen could go that would make him more competitive, if not mercedes itself.

        And it’s probably unfair to compare albon to verstappen, but I think we would be reasonable if we expected albon to perform like bottas is doing in relation to his team mate, which is not much!

        1. @esploratore

          It’s hardly obvious that the Red Bull is the 2nd best car, when Gasly regularly beat Albon.

        2. @esploratore exactly – you can recognise his achievements whilst, at the same time, recognising the performance of the team and of the car as well.

          It is frustrating to see him constantly downplay the performances of the team, to the extent that it comes across as a bit insulting that he has such contempt for the team that is giving him a pretty competitive car. No thanks for the team, no positive comments about how they are working together – it’s constant negativity and belittlement of their achievements because that is the only way he can think of to big up Verstappen’s performances.

          @aapje that would be the same Albon who currently has the worst relative performance of any driver this season, is being publicly criticised by his team for his inconsistent pace and is currently being threatened with the sack for performing even worse against Verstappen than Gasly did in 2019? The same Albon who was previously expelled from Red Bull’s junior programme because they felt he wasn’t a quick enough driver?

  9. Lol, that car is a raging bull, and Max is driving like a deamon.

    But saying that Gasly could not live with it, neither can Albon.

    Bottas cannot quite match Hamilton either.

    Vettel cannot quite match Leclerc.

    Those three are top 3 currently.

    What can teams do? Anyone really believes Hulkenberg can parachute in and be on pace with Verstappen?

    Who can they get to challange Mercedes?

    1. The problem is that even Gasly in the second team is sometimes as fast or even faster than Albon. This shouldn’t happen and is unacceptable.

      1. Indeed, derek, that’s the point we’re making, and in response to hulkenberg, again I don’t expect him to match verstappen, hulk and perez are definitely deserving a year in a top team to see how they get along, but it’s easy to see they wouldn’t be at verstappen’s level, however they would likely be close enough to be a decent number 2, or a decent bottas, which albon (and vettel) are NOT doing.

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