Welcome at RN365

You are logged in. Benefit directly from all the benefits of your account:

  • Share your thoughts and opinions about F1
  • Win fantastic prizes
  • Get access to our premium content
  • Take advantage of more exclusive benefits

Welcome at RN365

Become part of the largest racing community in the United Kingdom. Create your free account now!

  • Share your thoughts and opinions about F1
  • Win fantastic prizes
  • Get access to our premium content
  • Take advantage of more exclusive benefits
fri 26 mar - sun 28 mar
Quali sat 27 mar
Race sun 28 mar
ita
fri 16 apr - sun 18 apr
Quali sat 17 apr
Race sun 18 apr
bhr
Fallback flag
fri 23 apr - sun 25 apr
Quali sat 24 apr
Race sun 25 apr
ita
esp
fri 07 may - sun 09 may
Quali sat 08 may
Race sun 09 may
Fallback flag
mco
thu 20 may - sun 23 may
Quali sat 22 may
Race sun 23 may
esp
aze
fri 04 jun - sun 06 jun
Quali sat 05 jun
Race sun 06 jun
mco
can
fri 11 jun - sun 13 jun
Quali sat 12 jun
Race sun 13 jun
aze
fra
fri 25 jun - sun 27 jun
Quali sat 26 jun
Race sun 27 jun
can
aut
fri 02 jul - sun 04 jul
Quali sat 03 jul
Race sun 04 jul
fra
gbr
fri 16 jul - sun 18 jul
Quali sat 17 jul
Race sun 18 jul
aut
hun
fri 30 jul - sun 01 aug
Quali sat 31 jul
Race sun 01 aug
gbr
bel
fri 27 aug - sun 29 aug
Quali sat 28 aug
Race sun 29 aug
hun
nld
fri 03 sep - sun 05 sep
Quali sat 04 sep
Race sun 05 sep
bel
ita
fri 10 sep - sun 12 sep
Quali sat 11 sep
Race sun 12 sep
nld
rus
fri 24 sep - sun 26 sep
Quali sat 25 sep
Race sun 26 sep
ita
sgp
fri 01 oct - sun 03 oct
Quali sat 02 oct
Race sun 03 oct
rus
jpn
fri 08 oct - sun 10 oct
Quali sat 09 oct
Race sun 10 oct
sgp
usa
fri 22 oct - sun 24 oct
Quali sat 23 oct
Race sun 24 oct
jpn
mex
fri 29 oct - sun 31 oct
Quali sat 30 oct
Race sun 31 oct
usa
bra
fri 05 nov - sun 07 nov
Quali sat 06 nov
Race sun 07 nov
mex
aus
fri 19 nov - sun 21 nov
Quali sat 20 nov
Race sun 21 nov
bra
sau
fri 03 dec - sun 05 dec
Quali sat 04 dec
Race sun 05 dec
aus
are
fri 10 dec - sun 12 dec
Quali sat 11 dec
Race sun 12 dec
sau
Start Bahrain GP
Days
Hour
Min.
Sec.
Alexander Albon

Will we see Albon with Red Bull in F1 again?

Alex Albon is set to race in the German DTM series this year after losing his Red Bull Formula 1 seat at the end of the 2020 season. Are we likely to see the driver in F1 again?

While he was able to make light of the situation during a recent Twitch stream, Alex Albon’s demotion from a Red Bull F1 seat alongside Max Verstappen to the team’s reserve driver and a move into sports cars with DTM has to hurt.

Unlike his predecessor Pierre Gasly, there was no room for Albon to drop down into an AlphaTauri seat once it was decided he wouldn’t be the person to partner Verstappen this season, and so the British-Thai is left hunting for a route back to the top.

Is there a way back to an F1 seat for Albon? And what does he need to do to secure his return?

DTM

The best opportunity for the 24-year old driver to showcase his skillset is in the competitive DTM championship, where he will share the drive with Nick Cassidy, another British driver hailing from a single-seat background who has raced in Super Formula and previously won the Japanese F3 championship.

Racing in an AlphaTauri-liveried Ferrari 488 GT3 Evos, the driver will get his first taste of life outside single-seaters and has a good opportunity to prove his talents against a tough grid in which former Formula 1 drivers have formerly struggled.

Just look at Robert Kubica, who finished 15th in the championship last year.

Red Bull test and reserve driver

While Albon’s main source of racing this year will be in the DTM, the driver remains the Red Bull test and reserve driver, and team principal Christian Horner has publicly stated that Albon remains “a key part of our team as a test and reserve driver with a major focus on development for 2022”.

Also, given the current uncertainty around the pandemic, he remains the first in line to cover should others drop out from races, and Helmut Marko has suggested that Albon may even join another team this year as temporary cover.

In practice, the driver’s role will most likely come down to putting in a lot of hours on the sim and working on testing for future development. That knowledge of the 2022 Red Bull car gives Albon value for other teams also which may seek his employment.

AlphaTauri

While he is the most recent holder of a Red Bull F1 seat alongside Verstappen, Albon is not the only person in the hunt for a spot with the main team. His peers in AlphaTauri, Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda, are also vying for the spot.

Gasly had a stellar 2020 season, taking home a surprise maiden F1 victory at a hectic Italian Grand Prix at Monza and consistently out-scoring his teammate Daniel Kvyat after suffering a torrid prior season driving for the main team. But despite this form, Red Bull leadership did not mention Gasly as a potential replacement before it was announced that Sergio Perez would replace Albon for 2021.

Tsunoda is a more uncertain variable, given that he is yet to step up and race in F1 despite his impressive junior career and performances in F2. However, Marko has shown previous form in quickly promoting drivers he considers ready to the main Red Bull team and the Japanese driver is a strong link to its engine supplier Honda.

Sergio Perez

Another driver who could thwart Albon’s efforts to get back on the F1 grid. Red Bull hired the Mexican for his experience and strong, consistent performances for Racing Point last season after two seasons unsuccessfully promoting its own juniors.

The expectations from Red Bull for Perez are crystal clear: be much closer to Verstappen than Albon or Gasly. Should the driver accomplish this feat, the team will be hard pushed to find reasons to eject him.

Red Bull Juniors

While Albon still has a long career ahead of him at 24, he is not the youngest person vying to drive for Red Bull. The company also has three junior drivers in F2 looking to make the step up to the top bracket: Liam Lawson, Jehan Daruvala and Juri Vips.

Vips already has a super licence and is therefore qualified to drive in F1 at any time Red Bull wishes to promote him. He was set to drive in the Japanese Super Formula series in 2020, just as Pierre Gasly did in 2017, before the coronavirus pandemic meant he did not drive for an entire season, ruling him out of a chance at moving up this year.

Tsunoda meanwhile shone in F2 and was granted the AlphaTauri seat, but should Vips perform well in the coming year there is every chance he could also be in the running for an F1 seat next year.

Conclusion

Overall the real question for Albon is whether there is room for him to return after an underwhelming first season at the top. The ideal situation for the driver is that Gasly, tired of Red Bull’s management style, opts to leave the team for pastures new, and that Tsunoda fails to live up to his promise.

In such a situation, a strong season for Albon in DTM, in which he will have to beat his teammate Lawson, would just maybe put the British-Thai back in contention for a seat. But when Marko has lost confidence in a driver, it can be a long way back to that seat.

0 comments

    x