Albon: Red Bull F1 team nothing like ‘villain’ misconception

Alex Albon believes there is a misconception over Red Bull’s push for results that can lead to it being portrayed as a “villain” in Formula 1.

Albon: Red Bull F1 team nothing like ‘villain’ misconception

Albon is set to return to the F1 grid in 2022 with Williams after being dropped by Red Bull at the end of last year, having completed just one full season with the team.

He was demoted into a reserve driver role after struggling to match teammate Max Verstappen’s form since joining as a mid-season replacement for Pierre Gasly in 2019.

Gasly himself lasted just 12 races at Red Bull, while the team’s handling of its junior drivers has drawn criticism in the past for not giving them enough time to develop or get to grips with their cars.

But Albon felt there was a “misconception” surrounding how Red Bull operated, explaining that its push for results and desire to fight at the front of the grid was part of the team’s culture.

“I think there is of course that villain role played, I think within the media, about it all,” Albon said in the latest episode of the F1 Nation podcast.

“But it’s definitely nowhere near like that, basically.”

Albon said he thought that Red Bull’s advisor and junior driver chief, Helmut Marko, “gets the worst role” in how he is portrayed, but that the villain tag was applied too much to Red Bull “in general”.

“You have to realise they’re a winning team,” Albon said.

“They expect good results. It’s the culture within the team, if we’re not winning, we’re not happy, and that’s kind of how it should be really.

“Especially [in] the top three teams generally being Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes, that’s kind of what they expect.

Alexander Albon, Red Bull Racing RB15

Alexander Albon, Red Bull Racing RB15

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

“Of course it is tough, especially when you don’t have much experience to be in a top, top team. That is what it is. More than anything, it’s just trying to get confident with the car.”

Albon was replaced at Red Bull for this year by Sergio Perez, who after winning the Azerbaijan Grand Prix back in June has struggled for form in recent races.

But Albon said there was not an environment at Red Bull where more pressure was placed on drivers if they struggled.

"It’s not like there’s this thing where you’ve got to do this, and if you don’t do this, ‘that’s it, pack your bags,’” Albon said.

“Of course they want both cars to do well, that’s the whole intention. You’re not going to put pressure on someone if they’re not performing, because firstly the media do enough of that.

“Especially talking about myself, I put myself under the most pressure. It’s no-one else, there’s no added benefit on the outside.

“It’s tricky. I think it’s more just the way that the car runs quickly or is quick is not as easy for, let’s say, Checo and myself than it is for Max.”

shares
comments

Related video

Why F1's restricted 2022 rules won't make cars all look-alikes
Previous article

Why F1's restricted 2022 rules won't make cars all look-alikes

Next article

Perez has ‘no doubt’ he will turn Red Bull F1 form around

Perez has ‘no doubt’ he will turn Red Bull F1 form around
Load comments
How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher Prime

The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles as a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021
Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay Prime

Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay

OPINION: Quibbles over the length of time taken by Formula 1's stewards over decisions are entirely valid. But however inconvenient it is, there can be no questioning the importance of having clearly defined rules that everyone understands and can stick to. Recent events have shown that ambiguity could have big consequences

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax Prime

The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax

OPINION: Red Bull has had Formula 1’s fastest package for most of 2021, but in several of the title run-in events it has wasted the RB16B’s potential. It cannot afford to do so again with Lewis Hamilton motoring back towards Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings with two rounds remaining

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings

Qatar was a virtual unknown for most as Formula 1 made its inaugural visit to the Gulf state, and tyre management quickly emerged as an even more critical factor than normal. Perhaps then it should come as no surprise that two of the championship's elder statesmen produced standout drives

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021