Albon aiming for 2022 return with Red Bull or AlphaTauri

2021 F1 season

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Alexander Albon is targeting a return to Formula 1 in 2022 after losing his race seat at the end of last season.

Having lost his Red Bull race seat to Sergio Perez, Albon is hoping to return to the team or its sibling outfit AlphaTauri next year.

“My main goal is to be in a Formula 1 car,” said Albon, speaking to written media including RaceFans today.

Albon remains contracted to Red Bull and will be the team’s reserve and simulator driver this year. He will also race in the DTM at events which do not coincide with grands prix. His aim is to make the case for a return to F1 in 2022.

“Firstly, the goal has to be with Red Bull,” he said. “There is not just two, there’s four seats there and my goal would be really to wait and assess how it’s going.

“Obviously, if everyone’s performing, then then you’d be able to know what the situation is. So on my side my duty is to focus on what’s going on right now, focussed on getting the best for the team, doing what I can to improve myself within the factory and with the guys. Once we can do that, then we’ll see what happens.”

He ended a tough 2020 campaign, scoring less than half the points total of team mate Max Verstappen. Albon admitted the RB16 had been a challenging car for him to get the best out of.

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“Of course I’m disappointed in it,” he said. “It is no secret that it was a difficult car. It was a difficult season for me last year. You have to take it.

“Really my response is more not so much thinking about ‘why this’ and ‘why that’ it’s more what can I do now to get back into it and and fight again.”

Previous drivers dropped by Red Bull were placed at Toro Rosso (now AlphaTauri), such as Daniil Kvyat in 2016 and Albon’s predecessor Pierre Gasly in 2019. However the timing of Red Bull’s decision, and the arrival of newcomer Yuki Tsunoda at AlphaTauri, made that an impossibility for Albon.

“Obviously Yuki’s had a very strong year last year so you can understand why the way it was,” said Albon. “There’s no hard feelings with that side of it.”

Albon hopes to understand what his future by mid-season. “I think by summer break you kind of understand how things are playing out,” he said. “Right now, until that point, the full effort is with Red Bull and we’ll see how it goes.”

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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...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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33 comments on “Albon aiming for 2022 return with Red Bull or AlphaTauri”

  1. Site works again! Albon need to know that adjusting and adepting is a important skill to race.

    There is only fast and slow cars not easy or difficult ones!

    1. That claim is most certainly not true. Through the years there have been plenty of cars, that were extremely fast if you got it in its sweet spot, but if you didn’t they were a complete mess and impossible to drive. Just look at the Haas in 2019: Quickest midfield car (both qualy and race) at the season-opener in Melbourne, but absolutely nowhere (except a few flashes of brilliance) for the rest of the season. Still quick in qualy, but slipping (drastically) down the order in the races.

      Another example is Schumi’s first Ferrari, the F310. Although it had been quick from time to time in the hands of Michael, he was on the edge all the time and only his amazing car control saved him from spinning/crashing more often. Eddie Irvine on the other hand couldn’t drive it at all, recording only four(!!) points finishes and a single podium for the team. As the car got better and better (easier to drive and more consistent), he moved closer to Schumi and nearly won the championship in ’99 after Schumi’s accident at Silverstone.

      1. Thanks for that, @srga91. It was a good read.

      2. But that is what i said some of those ‘fast’ cars were hard to drive and drivers WHO could adjust could drive those cars fast and those ‘lesser’ gifted not. Slow cars are much harder to make them fast while fast cars doesn’t need to go faster but could handle beter. (sweet spot)

        I only said the driver must drive all type of cars fast by adjusting himself (or finetune the car)

  2. Red Bull have shown in the past that they’re not unwilling to take a driver back in to AT when there’s an opening and no rookie in line to fill that spot.

    However, with the current batch of F2 RB juniors, I don’t think that’s an issue for next year. We’ll have to see how they perform. They certainly still seem high on Albon, and had Tsunoda not been a factor, I’m sure that AT seat would’ve been for Albon. Maybe if Gasly leaves post 2021, there’s a chance Albon could be back.

    1. @aiii True, unlikely to be an issue for next year, especially as two of those are already on the clear super license-wise, although on-track performance and results are what ultimately matter.

    2. This and we still need to see Perez performance against Max. If he performs similar to Gasly and Albon then the story changes as well as we will find out the RB maybe isnt such a great car and limited ‘blame’ goes to Albon

      1. Red bull is a great car regardless, it’s enough that a top driver can prove it’s the 2nd best car to say it’s not bad, then it’s on the other drivers to adapt, I trust perez.

  3. Albon 3 months ago:

    “No, I wouldn’t agree to going back to Alpha Tauri,”

    1. Maybe that is why he lost the seat…

      1. Yes, entitled.

  4. I do like the guy and I wish he’d been given more time. I still think he was treated unfairly harshly. Returning with Red Bull, or with AlphaTauri wouldn’t be a bad thing, but I think Albon would be a pretty decent asset to any team.

    1. Nah you could see in all his RB content outside the car he did not take the opportunity seriously. Always playing and joking.
      Then there was that radio bit “ They race me so hard”. Not F1 material. Also extremely tall.

    2. “treated unfairly harshly”

      I wonder when people say this about RB driver, and they say it a lot, do they realize the chances RB management actually give these mostly young talented drivers…? Does Mercedes threat their young talents better? No single young Mercedes talent ever was promoted.

  5. Harsh is this. When compared to all who currently race in F1 he wasn’t able to raise his game enough to retain his seat. Who will move aside to give their race seat back to guy who was replaced by better talent. I think he was mule kicked somewhere along the line to believe he will coming back next season. Wha???
    I love self confidence but it would outward seem that he is now a bit blinded in his beliefs that RedBull is waiting for him to return to a top level seat. I think the dream is over. Especially when Sergio starts collecting points maybe some P1s.
    This process happens to many many drivers when youth n money come to teams. The old dogs get left on the porch.
    It may not be fair but it’s Formula One

    1. Except maybe Perez will be underwhelming as well in the RB…. he certainly isnt a top driver, just hyped at the moment. Lets see

  6. His only real hope of being back in a RBR or AT car next year is if Perez flops, proving that Red Bull don’t know how to run a second car. I rate that about 33% likely as RBR are surely now aware this target is hanging over their head and Perez should be better at getting the best out of his team around him.

    Barring something happening to one of the incumbents, I doubt we’ll see Albon racing in F1 again

    1. Which is a good thing, there’s no seats for drivers who get worse with experience (2019 vs 2020 albon at red bull)!

  7. If he’d not collided with Hamilton and won that race I wonder if he would have still been dropped at all. I wonder if his performances could have improved afterwards with the huge confidence boost that would have given him. We’ve all seen Gasly get dumped for not performing but then winning a race with the second team. Albon isn’t lost yet and he’s still very young. I’d like to see him back but yeah he dropped off the pace pretty badly last year. Also if he did make it back I’d be worried about Tsunoda. I really hope he achieves some good drives this year, I desperately want a good Japanese F1 driver to support and follow!

    1. No, then he’d be hyped like Perez. I doubt Perez will be any better. I mean both Gasly and Albon arent that bad compared to Perez. The problem is that they were compared to Max

      1. Verstappen isn’t a god and I say this despite he’s my favourite current driver. There’s no reason why a decent midfielder who can adapt to the car would be destroyed by him, not to the same extent his predecessors were, I think perez might as well be like ricciardo, he was never given a chance at a top team before, so it’s too early to say he’s not worthy of a top seat.

  8. Albon doesn’t have a massive chance for Alpha Tauri unless either Tsunoda gets promoted after a single season of F1 racing and or Gasly gets repromoted/leaves RB stable altogether and or the whole trio of Vips-Daruvala-Lawson sucks in F2 this year. Even Gasly doesn’t have a high chance of staying in the B-team unless Tsunoda gets an early promotion, and or neither Vips, Daruvala, nor Lawson does well.
    Re Red Bull Racing in 2022: I don’t think he’s got a chance to become a regular driver in this team again. Gasly has the advantage of doing proper racing this year and in F1. Albon only does some races in a series that isn’t even single-seater category, so he’ll have more rustiness going into 2022 than Gasly. Giving him another chance would be questionable, considering this matter, and especially should Gasly overperform similarly to last season. To put it simply: If Gasly doesn’t deserve another shot in the senior team, neither does Albon nor would it be justifiable given that he’ll do less actual racing. Should Perez get axed in favor of bringing back a previously demoted driver irrespective of how well he does, the opportunity should go to the more deserving one, i.e., the one that can truly show his potential by properly racing and already in F1.

  9. But does he have any other choice than RB/AT (that sounds like some robot from Star Wars). We have seen Ricciardo and Sainz going elsewhere inside F1. 2022 could open up some seats for Albon. Haas? Alfa Romeo? Renault? Reserve driver? Ricciardo ended up in Mclaren, Sainz to Ferrari where could Albon end up. Still I am rating both of those above the thai driver so I’m not sure who would like to have him. It could be a possibility without knowing what his contract says.

    1. @qeki I don’t think Haas would be an option as their drivers are probably committed to more than a single season, i.e., are on a two-year at least.
      I reckon Gasly to be a more likely candidate for Alpine-Renault than Albon should Ocon underperform against Alonso.
      Alfa Romeo: The Ferrari-backed driver such as Shwartzman is probably a priority, especially if he does well in F2. Ilott too. The latter (or maybe even both) should already have a seat in F1, in my view.

  10. ‘A’ Ferrari-backed driver.

  11. naa, he is done in F1

  12. I can’t see Gasly staying at AT beyond this season. I get the impression he is pretty miffed at being snubbed for the RBR seat.

    The performance of Perez will not be world’s apart from that of Alex Albon which will prompt many to reevaluate their opinions of him.
    I think he will be back in 2022 for Alpha Tauri.

    1. That could as well be what will happen.

      I also doubt Perez will be any faster than either Gasly or Albon, mentally stronger yes, but faster…?
      Gasly did have a poor half 2019 season being Max’ team mate, but done great back at TR in 2019 and 2020.
      Albon was actually the opposite… was praised in 2019, Lewis was actually calling out to RB to promote him… and it all went down hill from their. The common ground has been Verstappen….

      Let’s see how Tsunoda does, a smart and fast driver…. Albon bck at AT and Gasly to promote back to RBR could be on the cards. Oh well… never been a fans of Perez… beaten to many times.

      1. I don’t think being faster than Albon is the issue for Perez. He could be just as fast (or slow, as some see it) and still be fine because of his experience. For the sake of the argument, let’s say he is exactly as fast. Would Perez leave the door open like Albon did in Brazil? Or would he with his experience tighten the corner just that little bit more preventing Hamilton from trying the lunge in the first place? Than that is the difference between a spin and a race win…

  13. I think Albon’s maybe destined to be one of those lucky (but subsequently unlucky) ones that gets a chance at a top team really early in their career, flops, and then never gets another opportunity in any other F1 team again. Bit unfortunate for him because you could argue if he and Gasly’s places were switched where Albon was the first ‘sacrificial lamb’ to be tried out for the second RBR seat at the start of 2019, then he would’ve been able to retreat back to AT and rebuild his reputation. But obviously just with how everything’s lined up and the new talent Red Bull have coming through the lower formula now, he’ll probably be very lucky if they get him to come back to AT any time in the future. Probably his best chance is if he needs to fill in as a reserve driver either for Red Bull or AT at some point this season, and then puts in an incredible performance, but I don’t think that will happen and he’ll probably have to look at other single seater categories to continue racing.

  14. That will never happen… Perez will provide exactly what Red Bull need!

    And Red Bull have Juri Vips to step in at alphatauri should Gasly leave

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