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Alexander Albon

Albon inspired by Verstappen's 'incredible' mental strength

Alex Albon has explained what he most admired about Max Verstappen during their time working together at Red Bull.

Albon Verstappen
To news overview © Getty Images/Red Bull Contentpool

Alex Albon says he was impressed and "inspired" by Max Verstappen's mental strength at Red Bull.

The two drivers began working together as teammates midway through the 2019 season, when Albon was promoted from AlphaTauri to swap seats with the demoted Pierre Gasly, and the line-up remained for the 2020 season.

Albon was replaced by Sergio Perez for 2021, but continued to work with Red Bull as their test and reserve driver.

Having worked alongside Verstappen throughout this time, Albon is full of praise for the Dutchman's ability to cope with things mentally.

"More than anything, I was surprised by his ability not to worry," Albon told Motorsport-Total.com. "Mentally, he's incredible.

"He just drives the car and doesn't think about the consequences or anything else that's happening. That inspired me.

"If [Max] finished behind Lewis [Hamilton], he said, 'Okay, never mind.' If he led or won a race, it was also, 'Okay, never mind'."

Albon gives his take on Verstappen's title victory

Albon also took note of how Verstappen did not seem to let outside criticism affect him after on-track incidents, such as his crash with Hamilton at the Italian Grand Prix.

"I admire that, because it's not easy to be in the spotlight as much as he is," Albon said.

The Thai driver thinks that this was "especially" true during the closely-fought title battle, which he argues was one of the most intense "we've ever seen in Formula 1".

Verstappen clinched the World Championship in the controversial final laps of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, a race that has continued to attract much scrutiny and will be the subject of an FIA investigation.

Whilst Albon can "see both sides" in terms of the disappointment felt by Mercedes and Hamilton compared to the joy of Red Bull and Verstappen, he also feels that Verstappen deserved to win the title, particularly given the instances of bad luck he experienced earlier in the season.

As such, Albon sees the season finale as "karma".

"When I look at Silverstone, Hungary, Jeddah or even the first lap in Abu Dhabi, I have the impression that the decisions were made against him," Albon explained.

"Of course it must feel bad for Mercedes. But at the same time I think the [Red Bull] team deserved it."

After a year on the sidelines with Red Bull, Albon will return to the F1 grid in 2022 to replace George Russell at Williams.

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