Albon learned from Red Bull period: 'I would handle that differently now'

Albon learned from Red Bull period: 'I would handle that differently now'

10 March - 09:04 Last update: 09:12


Alexander Albon learned a lot from his time at Red Bull Racing alongside Max Verstappen. In an exclusive interview with GPblog, the Thai elaborates on that season and what lessons he applies from that period now at Williams.

Albon is already in his fourth season in Formula 1. It has been an eventful period, with a debut at Toro Rosso, a quick switch to Red Bull Racing, a year without a seat and then the move to Williams. Albon now really seems to be in his place at the team where he can do more and more to his liking.

Albon on his time at Red Bull Racing

Over the winter, Albon did a story on his time at Red Bull Racing. Alongside Max Verstappen, it was not always easy, as the team was more about the experienced Verstappen. "I think it’s a bit blown out of proportion if I'm honest," Albon stated to GPblog about that story. Indeed, according to the Williams driver, it is somewhat more subtle.

"It is more about your experience relative to what your knowledge is about driving the car. I'll give you an example. For me, the car at Red Bull was tricky to drive and I wasn't comfortable with it. The team were really trying hard to get me comfortable. I did struggle, but from now it's my fourth year in F1. There are a lot of things I realised I could have done differently and improved.

"It would be more about leaving the car alone and starting to drive around the problems. This kind of stuff, you see it in reflection as it's only normal. I'm not kicking myself for what I was doing two or three years ago, because I simply didn't know," said the 26-year-old driver.

After a year and a half, Albon had to leave Red Bull Racing and was replaced by Sergio Perez. Albon had to watch for a year as a result, but luckily he got another seat for 2022. He now has a multi-year deal in his pocket at Williams, where he is increasingly becoming the leader. Still, it is not as if the FW45 is now his car.

Williams' leader

''People think teams build cars around drivers, but that is not the case. It's about how we go around the track as fast as possible. If a driver wants the car a certain way and it is fast, then of course we will work in that direction. It's actually quite simple in that respect.''

"People probably think that teams are building cars around drivers. It's not the case. It's just how we go around the track as quickly as possible. If one driver likes the car a certain way and he's quick, then of course it's going to go towards that direction. It's simply like that," he added.

The experience Albon now has means he has a better understanding of what he wants from a car. "Despite lap times being relatively close, the feeling and the way you get the lap time out of a car can be completely different. You have to really start changing your driving styles to make it work. There are definitely areas where I feel like I'm trying to get the car not more towards a Red Bull car, but more towards what I believe is the fastest way."

A good start to the F1 season

After a good year at Williams, Albon seems to be back to his old self. The Thai has made no secret of the fact that the period at Red Bull and the gap year were mentally tough, but the confidence is still there.

"I'm pretty confident in myself. I feel like I'm a bit more of a pessimist than an optimist most of the time. I feel like I have a long-term contract with Williams. There's a common goal here to think about the future and that's always a nice feeling of course. Stability in any career is a privilege, especially in Formula One. I have less feeling that I need to prove myself because I feel like I did a good enough job last year. Now it's more about thinking towards the future. We don't want to be in the position we are and we need to improve," Albon concluded.

In that respect, the Bahrain Grand Prix was a great step for Albon and the Williams team. The Thai managed to secure a point under his own steam at the first race of the season. An unexpected result for the team, but certainly a positive sign. Especially since rookie Logan Sargeant was also able to finish on P12, not far behind Albon.

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