Red Bull to help rebuild Albon's confidence before Turkey

Jonathan Noble
·3-min read

Albon is battling to prove to Red Bull that he deserves a seat in F1 next year, with the outfit weighing up whether to stick with the youngster or go for a more experienced driver like Nico Hulkenberg or Sergio Perez.

But any hope Albon had of doing his cause good at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix was dashed after he got stuck in the pack during the race, and then suffered a spin on the safety car restart following Max Verstappen’s retirement.

With only four races remaining this year, and Red Bull needing to make a call soon, Albon is under increasing pressure to lift his game.

Reflecting on the Thai driver’s performance at Imola, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner told Sky F1: “It's a difficult one for Alex, because he was in that race with Charles [Leclerc] and Daniel [Ricciardo] all afternoon.

“Then at the restart, fighting Perez who was on new tyres, he just lost it at the second chicane. So it was hugely frustrating for him to come away with zero points, and for the team as well.

“We'll obviously try and work with him between now and Turkey, and build him up again and go again there.”

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Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko has indicated that the team could wait until after the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi to make its definitive call on drivers.

Albon said that perhaps the biggest mistake from the race on Sunday was in not pitting for soft tyres at the track – as that left him exposed to cars on quicker rubber behind him.

“It's one of those races where we spent the whole race behind the other cars,” he told television reporters. “There wasn't much to do there.

“Possibly in hindsight we should have stopped when the others did at the end of the race, and of course we were the first cold-tyred car for them to come across so it was always going to be difficult to hold them off.

“I think we had some contact as well which helped me come around and that was it really. It was one of those times where if we stopped we could have been looking for a podium. But that's just the way it is.”

Albon’s weekend was not a complete disaster, after he qualified 0.396 seconds behind teammate Max Verstappen and would have been in the hunt for points were it not for his team.

Asked if he could push a bit more in the team, Albon said: “I'm already doing that to be honest. It's not like I'm not doing it already, but of course I'm hanging in there, I'm doing everything I can. It was in retrospect not a bad weekend for me, but we'll focus on Turkey.”