Alex Albon has said he quickly needed to get over some personal frustration, after realising the 2021 Red Bull was a clear step forward from the car he was taken out of at the end of 2020 season.
Albon struggled for pace and form as a fulltime Red Bull racing driver last season, with the RB16 some way off the pace of the Mercedes W11. However, this year's car is a clear step forward and is, arguably, the best car in the field. Albon, who was there for the car's first steps at pre-season testing, admitted it was annoying for him to realise what he had missed out on after losing his seat to Sergio Perez.
“Already in winter testing, it was clear – when the guys went out – and there was a lot of rear grip in the car, which is something that we
were struggling with last year,” he told Formula1.com.
“It was like ‘Ugh! OK! Fine!’ The team have definitely made a big step on it from one year to the next.
"It was tricky last year, it wasn’t easy to drive. When the car is on the limit, it’s never going to be easy. But as you said there is that side [of frustration at missing out on driving a championship-contending car]. I feel like, the car, the team, we’re on the up. Look at us now, we’re right up at the very front.”
Albon has maintained ties with Red Bull, staying on a reserve for the Red Bull Racing team as well as junior AlphaTauri. He is racing in DTM with AF Corse with Red Bull backing, and recent rumours have also placed the British-Thai racer in an IndyCar seat.
Whatever his future holds, Albon is keeping his head up as he has vowed to learn from the setbacks of the past twelve months.
“You can’t lie and say it’s easy,” he said.
“If you could say last year was tough mentally, this year is equally as tough if not tougher as you’re going to circuits not racing. It’s a different feeling. You want to be out there, you want to be driving.
"We’re all born racers and we want to be out there so it’s tricky. A lot of it this year is about getting motivated, pushing hard trying to see if there is a chance to come back next year.”
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