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Red Bull praise Albon's development after 'tough time'

Alex Albon spent the 2021 F1 season as a test and reserve driver for Red Bull after being replaced on the race team. He went on to secure a comeback to the grid in 2022 with Williams, and Red Bull's Paul Monaghan has been impressed by how the British-Thai driver has bounced back.

Red Bull Chief Engineer Paul Monaghan has praised Alex Albon for continuing to push forwards after a "reasonably tough time" on the sidelines. Albon was promoted from the then-called Toro Rosso outfit to the main Red Bull team midway through the 2019 season to replace the demoted Pierre Gasly. He then remained with the squad for 2020 but, after struggling to match the pace of teammate Max Verstappen, was replaced on the race team by Sergio Perez for 2021. Red Bull opted to retain Albon as a test and reserve driver before he secured a comeback to the grid with Williams in 2022. While the team faced some struggles and ended the season at the bottom of the Constructors' Championship, Albon established himself as team leader and scored four of Williams' eight points.

Red Bull: Albon handled pressure 'exceptionally well'

Reflecting on Albon's time with Red Bull, Monaghan acknowledges that – while he did not work with Albon on a daily basis – he was impressed by how the British-Thai driver coped with the pressure of racing against Verstappen. "Thinking back to Alex's time with us, he came across a very conscientious, polite, gifted driver," Monaghan told media, including RacingNews365.com . "He had a pretty good idea of what he wanted from the car straight off. He knew when it wasn't to his liking and could tell you what was to his dislike. "We didn't always manage to give him a car that was adequate for his wants. Obviously he had a pretty rapid teammate, which puts a little bit more pressure on him, and he handled that, I thought, exceptionally well for a young driver."

Albon was 'not despondent' over 2021 situation

Monaghan has also credited Albon with remaining positive despite the challenges of being on the sidelines in 2021. "In 2021, you saw a driver who was frustrated, yet able to deal with this situation," Monaghan continued. "You saw someone who was learning and worked with us and, rather than being despondent for that year, he used that year and now he's come back with [Williams] and it's nice to see him nearer the front of the grid. "It's nice to see the progress, and it's nice to see them scoring points, so full credit to Alex for enduring a reasonably tough time, learning, not being despondent and pushing himself on to achieve what his talents deserve. "So many congratulations to him, and long may his growth in the sport continue."

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