Alexander Albon, joined Redbull mid-way through the 2019 F1 season and he has since struggled to match the pace that his teammate Max Verstappen has shown.
His first couple of races with Redbull were quite impressive as he was able to showcase his ability to make bold overtakes. Albon’s first season with Redbull could have ended on a high-note after he found himself in a position to pick up his first-ever podium at Interlagos.
However, this opportunity quickly disappeared after he tangled with world champion Lewis Hamilton, sending him tumbling down the order in the Brazillian Grand Prix.
Albon made a near-perfect start to the 2020 season, starting on the second row of the Austrian GP. A disappointing DNF from Verstappen and tyre degradation issues from the Silver Arrows of Bottas and Hamilton presented Albon with an ideal opportunity to secure his first ever F1 podium finish and maybe even a race win.
History would repeat itself as Albon tangled with Hamilton causing him to spin, and with that Albon’s hope for a podium finish were gone.
Since then, Albon’s performance has been subpar, at least relative to that of his teammate, Max Verstappen. Albon is almost always a couple of tenth’s behind Verstappen during qualification sessions and even further behind come Sunday.
To make matters worse, Pierre Gasly, who Albon replaced at Redbull has rediscovered his form at Alpha Tauri, beating Albon on several occasions and even attaining two podium finishes, one in Brazil 2019 and the other, a race win in Monza, 2020.
However, Albon’s time at Redbull is more promising than it seems and there is enough reason why Redbull should retain him for 2021.
For starters, Albon has shown incredible prowess in his overtaking. In comparison to Gasly, who also tended to qualify lower in the grid during his time at Redbull, Albon has shown a better ability to make daring overtakes and to finish in higher positions than he qualified.
Albon’s overtaking abilities have earned him the praise of Redbull team principal Christian Horner, who claimed that Albon’s ability to make up positions come race day, was one of the main reasons why Redbull chose to stick with him.
In the race at Mugello, Albon was able to showcase his incredible overtaking skills as he had to race his way through the pack in the RB20, which struggled noticeably during the restarts.
Albon needed that podium and he successfully used it to show why Redbull needs to retain him for 2021.
PHOTOS: SOCHI, RUSSIA – SEPTEMBER 27: Alexander Albon of Thailand and Red Bull Racing prepares to drive on the grid before the F1 Grand Prix of Russia at Sochi Autodrom on September 27, 2020 in Sochi, Russia. (Photos by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)