Marko's verdict is harsh: 'Hamilton destroyed his career there'

14-07-2021 18:10 | Updated: 14-07-2021 21:14
F1 News
Marko's verdict is harsh: 'Hamilton destroyed his career there'

At the end of last year it was announced that Alexander Albon had lost his seat at Red Bull to Sergio Perez. He was not able to match Max Verstappen after Pierre Gasly had to make way earlier. According to Helmut Marko everything could have looked very different.

Best reserve driver ever

Still, Albon did not completely disappear from the Red Bull stage. He stayed on as a simulator and reserve driver. "Albon is great on the simulator. He's doing very well otherwise too, generally speaking," Marko told "He tested for Pirelli recently. We try to keep him in the family, but if he gets a seat anywhere, we won't stand in his way."

Marko doesn't think another seat will be available for Albon any time soon, but with the coronavirus pandemic, you never know. "If you are positive, you are immediately quarantined. If that happens to a driver, you are out of the race in a triple header. The role of reserve driver is more justified than ever." And in that role as reserve driver, he even calls Albon their best ever in that position.

Career destroyed

Marko does think it could have all gone very differently for Albon. The turning point, according to the Austrian, was the race in Austria last year, when Lewis Hamilton tapped Albon off the track. "That's where I think Hamilton destroyed Albon's career. If Hamilton hadn't driven into him there, Albon would have won the race. Then maybe everything would have looked very different, because obviously the psyche and confidence develops very differently then."

It therefore seems likely that Red Bull will stick with Perez as Verstappen's teammate, with Marko briefly pointing out the biggest difference between Albon and the Mexican. "The difference is that Perez has more consistency. When he does his qualifying well, like second in Imola or third at the Red Bull Ring, those are results that Albon didn't have. And in the race he's almost at Verstappen level if he has a faultless run."

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