Albon’s last chance? Six Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix talking points

2020 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix

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Formula 1 heads to Imola for the first time since 2006 this weekend.

Only one driver on the grid has raced on this track in F1 before, but it’s had several significant upgrades and corner changes since then. Several other drivers on the grid have raced this new configuration in junior series.

Adding to the challenge to drivers and teams this weekend, there will be no Friday running and just a single, 90-minute practice session on Saturday morning.

But one driver is under considerably more pressure than others ahead of the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix.

Albon’s make or break weekend

Max Verstappen, Alexander Albon, Red Bull, Autodromo do Algarve, 2020
Albon was lapped by Verstappen in Portugal
Alexander Albon was given two races to make his case for staying at Red Bull next year before the last round in Portugal. Imola will be his second chance, after a fairly disastrous outing at Portimao, which saw him finish outside the points once again.

Arguably Albon’s strategy in Portugal was compromised by an early stop made before it was clear how long a stint might last. Having dropped behind Kimi Raikkonen he was unable to recover places and finished behind most of the jumbled midfield, unlike earlier races in the season.

Albon currently has 64 points, 98 behind team mate Max Verstappen and just one ahead of confirmed 2021 AlphaTauri driver Pierre Gasly. Red Bull have second place in the constructors’ title effectively sealed, 100 points clear of Racing Point in third.

But Albon needs a points finish at Imola to avoid any further embarrassment in the standings, let alone secure next year’s contract. The limited pre-race practice running means he has less time than usual to get on top of the RB16’s tricky handling this weekend.

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Mercedes’ coronation

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Autodromo do Algarve, 2020
Mercedes’ seventh title is virtually assured
Mercedes are practically guaranteed to win the constructors’ championship this weekend, unless they somehow fail to score while Red Bull get both cars on the podium. Once done, they will have scored a record-breaking seventh consecutive constructors’ championship title. They jointly hold the current record of six with Ferrari, who won six titles in a row from 1999 to 2004.

New-look Imola

Since F1’s last visit in 2006, Imola has been reconfigured. The track was emasculated by chicanes in 1995 following the crashes the previous year which claimed the lives of Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger.

The chicanes installed at the corners where the two drivers died – Tamburello and Villeneuve – remain. However the chicanes prior to the pit straight have gone, making the approach to Tamburello much longer and faster. The track’s single DRS zone will be positioned here, beginning at the finishing line.

Other safety upgrades have been made, as Formula 1 race director Michael Masi explained: “Asked about the changes, Masi said, “There have been a great number of safety changes that have happened, particularly the upgrading of barriers and so forth, all the way around the venue itself, together with the Imola circuit and from the updates that I’ve received, they’ve come along extremely well.

“There’s no concerns at all, from a safety perspective, that I have at the moment and having done a recent inspection there, with the planning of all these safety upgrades, I’m looking forward to getting there and the inaugural two-day event.”

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Past experience

Raikkonen finished fifth for McLaren in Imola’s last grand prix
Kimi Raikkonen is the only current F1 driver to have raced Imola in the top category, from 2001 until 2006, when the circuit hosted the San Marino Grand Prix.

He was on course to win in 2005 before retiring, so his best place remains the second place finish he scored for McLaren in 2003. Unusually, the podium that day was a champagne-free affair out of respect to race winner Michael Schumacher and fourth-placed brother Ralf, whose mother had died just hours before the race.

Many of the other drivers have experience of the circuit from other categories. Lewis Hamilton had his second weekend in GP2 there, in 2006, but was disqualified from the feature race for overtaking the Safety Car.

Max Verstappen had an incredible weekend at Imola during his year in F3, winning one race and storming through the field in another, storming past Esteban Ocon, Nicholas Latifi and – on the line – Antonio Giovinazzi, for a superb second place

Max Verstappen, Van Amersfoort, Imola, Formula 3, 2015
Verstappen thrilled in F3 at Imola in 2015
Charles Leclerc had a significantly less successful weekend at the track in Formula Renault 2.0 Alps Series, retiring from both races. Nyck de Vries dominated proceedings and went on to win the 2014 title by over 100 points. George Russell fared somewhat better in the same weekend, with two points finishes, and also got two podiums at Imola during his 2016 European F3 season.

However Russell was unable to stop Lance Stroll and the crushingly dominant Prema team. With two wins and a second place, he sealed that year’s title at the penultimate round.

Daniil Kvyat and Alexander Albon both drove Formula Renault 2.0 Alps here, in Kvyat’s winning 2012 season. However, as both look to secure results to save their 2021 seats, they probably won’t be looking for a repeat of the weekend where Albon managed 10th and sixth places and Kvyat secured a fourth and a retirement. Pierre Gasly had a more successful outing there the following year in the same series, getting his best result of the season with a second-place finish in race one.

Lando Norris also drove one of two 2015 rounds of Italian F4 at Imola, getting two points finishes from three races.

Two-day weekend

Tyre supplies have been reduced for the shorter weekend
Noise restrictions around Imola mean that this will be a trial of Formula 1’s possible future two-day race weekend format, with no Friday practice sessions. In reality, we already saw that this season after conditions at the Nurburgring meant the medical helicopter was unable to take off during Friday running, keeping the pit lane firmly closed even if drivers and teams were in their garages and waiting.

This time, there’s no ambiguity: first practice will last for 90 minutes instead of the usual hour on Saturday, ahead of qualifying.

Time restrictions to the format are such that the Thursday press conferences have also been changed, with team principals joining drivers for their usual media sessions. That should make for some interesting answers, particularly from the one team boss who has just fired both his drivers…

Another adjustment passed by the World Motorsport Council for this weekend is a tweak to tyre allocations to reflect the lack of Friday running. Each driver will have 10 sets of dry tyres at their disposal: two sets of the hard compound, two sets of the medium and six sets of softs. The wet weather tyre allocation stays largely the same.

The faster drivers will have a tricky Q2 choice to make if they want to start the race on mediums. With only an hour’s practice, they’ll have to decide quickly which compounds might work best on a surface that hasn’t been run with these tyres.

If it turns out there’s an advantage to the medium, they’ll have to hope they find out extremely fast, to preserve at least a set for qualifying and the race. Equally, if hard tyres turn out to have any advantage then they’re left with the same quandary – and the only way to find out will be getting some good use out of them during the one hour of practice.

Change of luck

Lando Norris, McLaren, Autodromo do Algarve, 2020
These two should try to steer clear of each other
Two drivers who collided with each other will definitely be looking for a reversal in fortunes at Imola. Stroll and Norris have both failed to score in the last four races (Stroll having been forced to miss the Nurburgring round due to illness).

Norris is in the fight for fourth place in the standings, 15 points back from Daniel Ricciardo, and has both Gasly and Albon nipping at his heels, within two points behind. With McLaren battling to secure third in the constructors’ championship, a strong points finish for Norris here could significantly help their chances.

The team they’re trying to beat is Racing Point – whose 126 points have mostly been scored by Sergio Perez, despite Stroll taking the team’s only podium this year, in Monza. His F3 record at the circuit is impressive, so it will be down to this weekend to see if that can translate to F1 results.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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69 comments on “Albon’s last chance? Six Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix talking points”

  1. I really do feel for Albon, but I doubt this is his last chance. The big wigs at Redbull have already come to the conclusion that he is not very consistent. It also appears like he has peaked relative to the car he is driving and any attempt to improve makes him slower.
    Verstappen drives the car like he is riding a bike, total control while Albon on the other hand the car must feel like driving a van, a big vehicle with too many unknown characteristics. The expectations to deliver has only made him chase results instead of car mastery. He is now missing that very little thing called Confidence needed by drivers who excel.

    1. Im sorry to say albon is done and dusted , no matter where he finishes in the next GP !,
      Red Bull have invested so much time money and effort to support him his time us done , he’s a very nice guy , but that means diidly squat to RB , in F1 you either put up or shut up , he’s to far behind the learning curve all the way all along . Id give Perez a year contract “with options if he succeeds in the future ” he is reliable smart , experienced he looks afer his tyres . he’s bringing sponsors with him” with good money and he’s not to old , if he drives and beats vettel . RB and him can gave the last laugh vetell leaving RB ” and racing point sacking him after he saved the company

      1. I’d give a year contract to hulk

        1. 10-4 that … let Hulk do some heavy lifting. “King Kimi”! Anther season in the sun. What’s not top like? Pastor?

      2. ian huntington
        29th October 2020, 17:17

        Totally agree with Sal………Give Checko the drive 100%

    2. Yes that’s simple click-bait. Of course they are sticking with Albon.

      It will be someone from the young-driver program, no matter what, and there’s no one else there better than Albon ATM.

      1. Tbh, Gasly is performing a lot better compared to Kvyat than Albon ever did last year. But Gasly couldn’t perform next to Verstappen. The second RBR-car is no gift as everything has been pointed towards Verstappen.

        1. Well Albon would likely have more podiums and possibly a race winner as well if it wasn’t for being punted off, and we’d all see him in a different light with those credentials. Likely it would have helped his confidence and speed as well.

          Yes, he’s more than half a second behind, but so was Gasly. Horner said Gasly had trouble with the pressure at the big team, whereas Albon wasn’t afraid to stick his elbows out. There’s nothing to say Gasly would do any better, so I agree there’s no need to change.

          Sure, the car is likely made to fit Verstappen, but adaptability is a prerequisite to be an F1 driver and what separates the great from the good according to insiders.

  2. Why again only a single activation zone? The run from the Variante Alta chicane to the penultimate corner is around 730 m, so even longer than Portimao’s T4-T5 straight, and doesn’t lead to a high-speed corner such as Blanchimont, 130R, or Abbey. The original approach since 2013 was that there will always be at least two zones wherever possible, with Suzuka and Monaco the only exceptions due to clearly lacking options. I wonder what’s changed? Mugello was understandable as the S/F straight is the only decent-length one for DRS, but Portimao and Imola two aren’t. This back straight isn’t only longer than the one of the Algarve circuit, but also longer than, for example, Montmelo’s T9-T10 and Hungaroring’s T1-T2 straight and some others, so weird that the FIA is okay with having zones on these straights despite their shortness, but not on these longer ones.

    1. BTW, image text ‘Verstappen thrilled in F3 at Imola in 2015’ should read 2013 as he raced in F1 in 2015.

      1. It should be 2014, Verstappen was karting in 2013.

        1. @Tim lemmens Of course, my bad. 2014 indeed.

    2. How about no DRS zones? The race would have been better in Portugal: Sainz and Raikkonen could have tried to defend their positions

    3. I’m in favour of reducing the number of DRS zones. Ideally to zero.

    4. Coventry Climax
      29th October 2020, 19:19

      Sensible guys, Patrick and Andy. Why argue about circuit characteristics when the goal should always be to get rid of all artificial crap and have no ‘zones’ at all!

    5. @jerejj I think they likely didn’t put a DRS zone there because the right hand kink before Rivazza is pretty narrow & it’s harder to run 2 wide through it than it appears. Was always a part of why it was harder to try a move into Rivazza than you would think.

      TBH even with the longer straight & the DRS zone into Tamburello I don’t think overtaking will be any easier than it used to be. It narrows slightly through the kink after the start line & the natural racing line through the slight curve into the Tamburello braking zone also makes it super easy to defend by placing the car in the middle of the track. That more than aero was always the biggest hindrance to overtaking on the post 1994 layout.

      1. @stefmeister Seems reasonable, although the slight right-hand kink doesn’t turn massively, so there shouldn’t really be a risk of losing the car with DRS activated as with 130R, Blanchimont, or Abbey, but fair enough, I guess.

  3. Max came to red bull in 2016 and he was a liability… He had quite a few crashes even though he was fast. In his second season there he was not as a reliable driver as albon. You could anyone in albons seat and it would be the same result after two seasons.
    What albon needs is to be encouraged, and for the media to just give him a break. They seem to be baying for his blood!!!!.
    He needs to improve and will do with experience.

    1. When Max came to Red Bull he had a week of preparation with no pre-season testing and immediately qualified within .4s of his experienced teammate, then won the race after spending a good third of it with Kimi on his ass.

      In his second season, his first proper full season with proper preparation, he out-qualified Ricciardo 13 to 7 and won two races to Ricky’s one race. Yes, he lacked consistency, but his performance was never under any doubt.

      Albon, meanwhile, is 0 for 12 in qualifying and 0 for 8 in races (technical retirements excluded).

      You can perhaps see why the situations aren’t as comparable as you might think..

    2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      29th October 2020, 14:47

      I really feel for Albon. The problem with F1 is that you can’t learn to drive while in a top car. We’ve seen that with so many drivers ranging from Gasly, Albon, Magnussen, and Perez. You mentioned Verstappen who was promoted in 2016. He won his 1st race driving for Red Bull and went on to score 204 points that season compated to Ricciardo who scored 256 but also benefited from having 4 more races in the Red Bull. In fact, it was Max’s points that allowed Red Bull to beat Ferrari to P2 in his inaugural season with Red Bull. I’ve been of many things that Max has done over the years but he delivered.

      On the other hand, is currently sitting behind Ricciardo, Leclerc, Perez, and Norris in the WDC. Gasly in an Alpha Tauri is 1 point behind him and Sainz is 4 points behind and should have been way ahead.

      He’s technically P10 in the championship when he should have been in a commanding P4 behind Max. Sadly, the lapping by your teammate last week was the final nail in the coffin. I know it means little but it does mean that your teammate was literally running circles around you which is why drivers need to ensure they don’t get lapped on shorter circuits by their teammates. It’s ok if you’re half a second quicker all season long and are 200 points ahead in the WDC and it happens cause you have a puncture or are running on 5 cylinders but not ok when you are P10 in the championship. And as bad as it is for anyone watching, it destroyed Albon.

      Let’s be honest – at this point there is no person in the world who wishes to leave Red Bull and race for Alpha Tauri more than Albon.

      1. Dave (@davewillisporter)
        29th October 2020, 20:57

        @freelittlebirds “You can’t learn to drive while in a top car” Hamilton in 07 08? Kimi second year in at McLaren? Schumacher Benneton? You absolutely can. (Yes there was testing back then but,) The problem is the pressure at RB. Great story from Rob Smedley. When Massa joined Ferrari he was chosen because he was very very fast but once in the team alongside Schumi he went to pieces. Ross asked Rob to engineer Massa to try and help. Rob discovered that Massa thought he had to beat Schumi or his drive with Ferrari was finished. Rob said to Massa. “No, you don’t have to beat him, in fact, if you do beat him you’ll annoy Ferrari as Michael is the guy they want to win the WDC and WCC with, if you beat him you’ll be taking points away from that.” RB’s driver program under Marco has so much pressure on these guys that by the time they arrive in the top team after giving it all they have, they think, “I’ve got to do even better, I have to beat Max” and it messes their heads up, just like it did with Massa. RB’s failed second seat drivers are all about RBs approach. They haven’t managed expectation or stress levels. Quick drivers like Gasly fall to bits because they are made to believe they have to achieve an unrealistic target. Give Albon Rob Smedley as an engineer he’d do just fine.

    3. Jose Lopes da Silva
      29th October 2020, 18:54

      I don’t remember Ricciardo lapping Verstappen.
      But Verstappen was so arrogant, so, so arrogant, cocky spoilt brat, oh no.

      1. @Jose Lopes da Silva Because he didn’t.

        1. @jerejj Well that would be his point

    4. he’s costing RB millions in points lost.. its key to a company like RB to have a car that is within 2-3 positions within each other. points is worth millions.

      imagine if albon had 10 points more.. that would add so many millions to RB budget..

      1. AJ (@asleepatthewheel)
        30th October 2020, 8:24

        Red Bull will finish 2nd in the WCC anyway irrespective of Albon’s performance. Lesser points mean lesser fees to be paid for entry into next year’s championship. So if anything, he is actually saving them a few hundred thousand pounds.

        How much marketing revenue is being lost is a different subject altogether.

  4. If Albon didn’t already lose his seat a month or so ago, he definitely lost it last week.

    Maybe, maybe, if he beats Max in qualifying and wins the race, perhaps I can see some kind of redemption, anything less and there’s no way he’s there next year.

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      29th October 2020, 14:51

      @aiii the lapping is the end, unfortunately… nothing can erase that from the team’s and driver’s memory. Even with Gasly performing so well at Alpha Tauri, that lapping at the Red Bull ring still looms huge in Horner’s and Marko’s minds and I’m sure Gasly is deep down terrified to step back into a Red Bull as he should be. That car can end Gasly’s F1 career over a single lap.

      1. @freelittlebirds Lapped in 2019? I doubt they still care about that. Especially since he had to start at the back of the grid because of technical issues.

        Similarly for Portugal, Red Bull will know that Abon was a lap down because they used him to test the tyres for Verstappen with an extra pitstop.

  5. I like Albon, he is a nice guy, he had a great chance as to get in a top car right away, not many drivers get that chance, obviously he is no match to Verstappen and literally he was out of a drive before red-bull call him, again cause they don’t have as many options in their ranks lately

  6. @freelittlebirds Red Bull Ring isn’t the only track where Gasly got lapped, i.e., failed at finishing on the lead lap while at RBR, but also Albert Park, Montreal, Paul Ricard, and Hungaroring. Albon didn’t get lapped in any 2019 race he did at RBR. This season besides the last race, he didn’t finish on the lead lap in Montmelo and also temporarily dropped out of the lead lap at Hungaroring before getting back on it, thanks to Hamilton’s extra pit stop. Nevertheless, getting lap by a teammate in a top car without any damage or an early pit stop due to puncture, etc., isn’t desirable.

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      29th October 2020, 16:39

      @jerejj has Verstappen lapped Albon at multiple circuits?

      1. @freelittlebirds No, only these two.

        1. @freelittlebirds Circuit de Catalunya and Algarve, I mean.

          1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            29th October 2020, 18:34

            @jerejj I don’t recall that Albon has been lapped in Barcelona – that’s even worse. Once is bad, twice is downright unacceptable…

        1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          29th October 2020, 19:30

          @jerejj Thanks, I think +1 Lap means that the leader lapped the driver. It doesn’t tell us who lapped who, though. If you tell me that Verstappen lapped Albon, I believe you although I can’t say that I recall it myself.

          1. @freelittlebirds to answer your question, Albon did not finish a lap behind Verstappen in the 2020 Spanish GP. Although Albon did end up finishing quite a long distance behind Verstappen – the time gap between them was approximately 1 minute – that still meant that Albon was within a lap distance of Verstappen.

          2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            29th October 2020, 21:19

            Thanks! My memory served me better than it normally does :-)

          3. @anon He did get lapped by his teammate towards the end after having been held up by Seb for quite long. If you look at the race history chart, you’ll see that he got lapped by his teammate on lap 58 and also by third-placed Bottas (the last driver on the lead lap) on lap 62 before he makes an extra pit stop that allows Albon to get back within the same lap as him.
            In summary, he finished that race 8th, a full lap down on the first and second-placed drivers, but on the same lap as the third-placed one.

  7. Albon is no better or worse than Gasly. I think they’ll be quite similar for pace next year at AT.

    I think RBR go for Perez. I think Max destroys him as well just not quite as badly.

    He’s probably slightly quicker than Hulkenberg, but his ability to manage tyres gives RBR the option of running contra strategies to Max. At the end of the day they just want someone good enough to bring it home in 4th while Max challenges for podiums.

    1. 2021 is RBR’s opportunity to win a championship.
      Indications are that Honda is motivated and wanting to go out a winner. In some form.
      C Horner has already indicated the new car will fix the problems with the current version.
      As for Hulk. I like the guy and would cheer for him if he could hear it from here. But his development talents would not likely be of much use at RBR. Does A. Newey need more input … not likely. I think he knows how to design and develop a race car.
      Hulk’s weak element has been race craft. D. Riciardo, Max and Perez have the winning touch and the ability to make a pass where none exists. Hulk is getting better, but winning hasn’t shown up yet. Hope it does.
      Perez, don’t expect him to be satisfied with chasing 4th. Hope he winds up at RBR. Would make for a great 2021.

      1. Dave (@davewillisporter)
        29th October 2020, 21:21

        @rekibsn Newey has a reputation for developing cars that are very edgy and difficult to get 100% out of. What Hulk can bring that Perez can’t is realism. He will tell RB where the car needs changing as he has done for RP this season. The RB over the last two seasons has been a difficult beast. While at McLaren Newey designed a car that the test drivers at McLaren refused to drive after many a spit off. It was too unstable. The reason he left McLaren was that they felt he needed some other inputs to design a drivable car and he disagreed. Not taking away from his genius but this year RB have had to do some serious backpedalling with car development because the RB is too unstable.

    2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      29th October 2020, 18:41

      If Perez gets into a Red Bull, Max is out the door. It’s a done deal – he’ll be looking for a new team next April like Ricciardo did.

      1. Dave (@davewillisporter)
        29th October 2020, 21:26

        @freelittlebirds Uuuh. No. There is no way on gods earth Perez will outshine Max. No way. Great driver and good on tires. Max is great on tires. Lewis is a tire whisperer at this point. Sorry mate but Perez is up there but not on the same level.

        1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          30th October 2020, 2:12

          @davewillisporter I wasn’t saying Max’d leave because Perez would beat him… Did you see Max and Checo this weekend? They are not even on the same team yet.

      2. @freelittlebirds How does Perez going to RBR = Max leaving? And where would Max go?

        1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          30th October 2020, 14:21

          @robbie well, that remains to be seen next season. He’s due for a change, next year will mark his 6th season with Red Bull – will he be willing to sign for an 8th season as a Red Bull driver? Perhaps to see how they do under the new regs but things don’t look great for Red Bull as Honda is poised to leave next year.

          Any incidents that happen on track with Perez will infuriate Max and he will certainly point to this weekend asking Horner what he was thinking. After all, we saw Daniel look for a new team almost immediately after the same thing happened to him with Max.

          The other risk Perez poses and it’s a massive one is that he can actually produce his best results by prolonging stints. Imagine if Verstappen is 0.5 seconds faster than his teammate but Perez goes on to win the race in the same fashion that Gasly did. I suppose Horner can take out the checkbook and write Max a $5 million bonus as Checo’s spraying champagne but it still won’t placate Max. Knowing his temper, he’ll probably beat up Perez as he gets out of his car with Horner and Marko trying to separate the 2 guys ;-)

          Max can go anywhere – if he wants to go to Ferrari, they’ll make room. If wants to go to McLaren, they’ll make room. If he wants to go to Renault, they’ll make room. The only team that he may not be able to go to is possibly Mercedes for obvious reasons.

          1. @freelittlebirds Ah so a bunch more rhetorical nonsense from you then. What a surprise.

          2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            30th October 2020, 16:48

            @robbie well, I guess you’re right – it’s nonsense as Red Bull probably won’t sign Perez for the very reasons I’ve outlined. I guess this is the paradox of two folks arguing in comments and both being right – one by accident, one by design:-)

          3. @freelittlebirds You do not even realize ‘they very reasons’ you’ve ‘outlined’ are purely from your imagination though. You’ve invented a storyline for yourself and are trying to sell it as what they are actually thinking and going to do, and it’s a soap opera you’re writing and it’s ridiculous and juvenile.

            Lol Max is phenomenal and already engrained on the team and you’ve got Perez swooping in and winning races over Max, infuriating him, and then something imaginative about money, which is all ridiculous enough as it is, but you seem to have left out the two Merc cars when Perez is doing all this winning. What world are you on? Or perhaps what substance?

          4. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            30th October 2020, 23:50

            @robbie well, I live in the world where an Alpha Tauri won a race – obviously it’s a different world than yours :-) In your world it seems that could never happen and even a Red Bull victory sounds like an impossibility.

            Now here comes the strangest part of all – we both live in the same world and yet we have such different views, don’t we? Isn’t the human mind wonderful in its infinite capacity to warp reality?

            Of course, I could point out that Red Bull has scored a victory in all championships since 2009 with the exception of 2016 but I’m a tad afraid it would be too nonsensical and rhetorical for your liking.

          5. @freelittlebirds Hey if in your fantasy world you want to ignore Max’s victory in 2016 in his first race with RBR, then I guess you’ve proved my point about the different world you live in.

          6. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            31st October 2020, 5:22

            @Robbie if you’re trying to correct me, then the answer you’re looking for is 2015. That’s the only year since 2009 that Red Bull didn’t win a race.

    3. Horner has said that Marko is very much into his young driver program, which I interpret to mean there will be no choosing from anywhere else.

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        29th October 2020, 21:22

        @balue unfortunately Marko needs to concede that the driver program hasn’t produced another driver capable of driving the Red Bull car the way Verstappen has. Sainz has left and ditto for Ricciardo. It’s time for Marko to accept that sometimes you need to get an external driver. Barcelona has been purchasing players from other clubs for years – it doesn’t only promote from La Masia, although it used to do so more heavily in the old days.

        1. @freelittlebirds Absolutely, but seems he’s invested so much prestige and pride into the project that choosing someone from outside would admit failure.

        2. @freelittlebirds Indeed, they need to learn to be more respectful of their top drivers and not just focus on the one driver with the promise of becoming greatest.

    4. Running fourth yes, fast or slow doesn’t matter too much. If they can’t be right behind threatening over/undercut they should be filling the pitstop window looking like they could be running a contra strategy – ideal with Perez.
      I’d prefer to watch the other two candidates though.

  8. “Emasculated” 🙄

    1. +1 very weird.
      Although they can get rid of the Villenerve chicance now.

    2. It’s one of those terms that goes under the radar maybe, but if you swapped it for its logical equivalent, ‘effeminized’, the sexism would be immediately obvious. ‘Tamed’ would have done the job fine.

  9. Perhaps Albon will be more impressive here. If he manages to take out Max, Pierre and Daniil, now that would be impressive!

    1. Ahah, a proper way to end his red bull adventure!

  10. I keep reading more rumors that Perez already signed for RBR, anyone knows about this?

    1. It is a bit too much of a coincidence that all these rumours break out. I think that Perez has a very active management team that is very succesful in launching rumours. First the Williams one, now the Red Bull one. I’ll believe it when I see it.

  11. It is not Albon. It is the destroyer of teammates. Verstappen. Probably the only ones who can keep up with this man no matter what team the are in. Hamilton and Leclerc.

    1. True, definitely those 3 got at least a chance on a top team so far and when they did they proved they can perform at the highest level.

      It remains to be seen what people like perez, sainz, hulkenberg, norris, russel can do at a top team, even drivers who perform well in the midfield sometimes may do a fisichella and fail at the top team, or more recently a gasly.

      And obviously ricciardo is a bit under those top 3 but might as well be better than all others, we’ll have to see if any interesting driver ends up at red bull.

  12. At least Perez is a very well known quantity; and then we will know just how hard it is to fill the second RB seat next to Verstappen OR haw poor their young driver programme is!

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