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Alexander Albon

Albon: 'Perez no better than I was at Red Bull alongside Verstappen'

The Williams driver details how he used data to present his case to Team Principal's, which became his gateway to getting back on the grid in 2022.

Albon Abu Dhabi
To news overview © XPBimages

Alex Albon has detailed how he used statistics on Pierre Gasly and Sergio Perez to approach Team Principals on his return to Formula 1.

After being ousted from his Red Bull seat at the end of the 2020 season due to a run of poor results, the team decided to replace him with Sergio Pérez.

Albon was relegated to the role of Test and Reserve driver, helping the team with its car in the simulator to ensure that it is setup in the right conditions before they reach the track and throughout race weekends.

But in his attempts to make a comeback on the grid, which would eventually go his way with Williams, Albon used the data from the simulator sessions to his advantage.

"I kind of did something, I think everyone would do in the same way as me," Albon told the High Performance podcast.

"I basically got statistics and research on Pierre Gasly, who I replaced myself in the team and then Sergio [Perez] at the time, who is currently in the seat.

"It was very simple statistics, but most of it was relative to Max so speed, qualifying, race, on an Excel sheet."

Albon: I gave it to a couple of team bosses and that was how it started

Throughout the 2020 season, Albon was consistently behind Verstappen in qualifying and race results. In all 17 occasions Verstappen out-qualified him, while in the 11 races Verstappen also finished ahead.

Albon also had the unwanted statistic of only leading Verstappen by 28 laps, while the Dutchman had 728 laps led on him by the end of the short COVID-affected season.

"The problem I had was during the year that I struggled, Max was qualifying third or fourth, sometimes even fifth, and finishing races generally third or fourth," explained Albon.

"Then I would be maybe three, four tenths off him in some races which would put me 12th or 11th - they were disastrous.

"The year after the car was first or second almost every race while Lewis [Hamilton] and Max were fighting for the title and Checo was fourth, third or fifth."

To get himself into the frame at Williams, Albon used the data versus Verstappen between himself, Gasly, and Perez and presented it to team bosses.

"But the gap between Max was actually in most cases bigger than it was when I was Max's teammate," said Albon.

"So he's a replacement to me, but people shouldn't discredit as much of a bad year as it was. I was still, in reflection, better than the two previous teammates.

"But I had this statistic and I didn't really know what to do with it and basically gave it to a couple of team bosses and started it like that."

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