We can now finally say it out loud – Alex Albon Confirmed Red Bull F1 Driver is a real thing. He’ll be racing with Max Verstappen for the 2020 Formula 1 schedule
Alex Albon confirmed for his 2020 drive is not a new topic around here. I’ve written extensively about his rookie season compared to Verstappen and how impressive it’s been. One of the major things that seems to be holding back even in small ways is confidence. But how can you blame any of the young Red Bull drivers. If you are constantly afraid of losing your seat and it can happen mid-season, you have to balance going for the results with scoring consistent points. If you contrast this to Verstappen’s time at Red Bull, he had a poor string of results his rookie year as well with Red Bull. But he was given the room to fail. Albon despite being neglected that right, has still managed to be confirmed for a full season. This could make all the difference in the world seeing as they’ve done it with two races remaining. Brazil and Abu Dhabi if I had to guess we’ll see Albon closer on Saturday in particular and hopefully can see him drive a bit more relaxed and go for more opportunities on Saturday.
Let’s go through an analysis of why Red Bull retained Albon and also touch on some thing Albon can improve upon in 2020 if he wants to keep that seat for the new regulations era of 2021.
There are things Albon has made very clear and that is his resolve. He’s proven he is capable of getting the points necessary to do the job. He has proven time and time again of his ability to charge through the field despite grid penalties from upgrades. He’s also proven that he can recover from an error he has made himself and charge through the field to pick up the points he needs. He’s not only done this with Red Bull Racing, he’s done this with Toro Rosso as well. They have a history of developing young talent as they look to continue that tradition of promoting from within as Toro Rosso Confirm their 2020 drivers lineup. To my knowledge, he is one of the only drivers on the grid to receive driver of the day in his rookie season for two different teams.
Check out the videos I made below that cover off some of his most epic moves breaking down each one extensively.
Albon’s Charge At SPA
Albon’s Sochi Charge
Albon Confirmed But Still Needs To Improve
With that said, there are places Albon needs to improve for Red Bull to remain in that seat. Let’s take a look at a couple areas that are glaring for the young Thai driver that I’m sure he has his sights set on improving.
Albon Needs To Improve Qualifying
Similar to Gasly, Albon has not been able to outpace his teammate on a Saturday. Max Verstappen is abnormally talented at getting more out of the car than is there, but pacing tenths closer will be a positive step for Albon. While his consistency on Sunday has been a bright spot, he will need to position himself better to be even more competitive. Red Bull is in a tough spot considering the current dynamics. They want to compete with the top two teams with tech than isn’t on par. Thus inherently, the team expects you to punch above your weight. If he can improve his qualifying, Albon has proved his pace can keep par with some of the top drivers out there.
Albon Must Drop Silly Mistakes
Much of what happens in Free Practice Sessions for each grand prix is about finding the limits of the car. Considering Albon is new to that car, he’s not going to be familiar with the extent of what it can do. It’s understandable that he makes small errors early. But just like Albon charge videos are popular around here, I’ve also made my fair share of onboard mistakes showing Albon’s miscalculations. Never to have a go at him, but more so to give some insight to the extent the error of the driver so we know what to expect the following session or have a glimpse into their mindset.
Much of this could easily be resolved now that he’s been confirmed and feels safe to test the limits of the Red Bull without the threat of losing his seat in the final two races. But until we see him drive comfortably, we just won’t know. Here are a couple onboard videos showing you some of the errors we’ve seen him make since being promoted.
Albon’s Russia FP Shunt
Albon’s Mexico FP2 Error
Although Alex Albon Confirmed, Remains Humble
Super proud to announce I’m a Red Bull driver for 2020. It’s been an incredible 12 months, and it only gets crazier. Thank you to @redbullracing for putting their trust in me. This is an amazing opportunity and I can’t wait for 2020! But now to finish 2019 strong ???? pic.twitter.com/X7ZBsAL3g8
— Alex Albon (@alex_albon) November 12, 2019
Albon himself has continued his humble approach on the matter as he speaks on his excitement given the opportunity to race with Red Bull in 2020 and next to Verstappen. Here’s what he had to say after finding out of Red Bull’s Investment in him:
Alex Albon Reflects On Him Being Confirmed At Red Bull
I am really excited to be partnering Max again for next year. And I know how fortunate I am to be given this opportunity. I’m hugely thankful that Red Bull have put their trust in me and believed in my results since I joined the team and for them to keep me in the car next year is a big deal.
This year has been an incredible year for me and getting the call up to Red Bull mid-season was already a big step, so now I will use the learnings from this season and use the experience to improve and fight at the front in 2020.
Christin Horner himself has also chimed in on the matter and sung Albon’s praises. He’s been supportive of the recently promoted Albon. They’ve shared some interesting moments over team radio as Horner seems to play off Albon’s self-critical nature in a healthy way that you can’t help but hear Albon appreciate. He went on to say this about Albon confirmed for his 2020 drive with Red Bull Racing:
It’s extremely hard to deny that level of consistency and in tandem with a growing reputation as a tenacious, fiercely committed racer, Alex has proved that he fully deserves to continue his progress with Aston Martin Red Bull Racing. There is plenty of potential still to unlock and we look forward to seeing Alex alongside Max in 2020.
Albon’s Confirmed Seat Isn’t The End of 2019
Despite being confirmed with Red Bull for the 2020 season, Albon still needs to keep up the pressure. Verstappen has a history of performing well at these two races. The Brazilian Grand Prix and the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix have higher than normal VSC opportunities as well so it’s even more important to qualify well. Not to mention, Brazil is one of the shortest circuits on the grid, next to Mexico so a safe Albon won’t do him much good in Brazil. By Abu Dhabi I anticipate seeing Albon’s wings fully developed with more confidence.
But first, he’ll have to head to a drivers track and perform in the legendary land of Senna. It’ll be a tough test as it’ll be his first race at Interlagos. Let’s see how Red Bull’s investment pays off.
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