Alex Albon was propelled to the second seat at Red Bull in 2019 after racing at Toro Rosso for only half a season. It was the chance of a lifetime, the dream of every young racer, and even though he had his doubts as to whether he was ready, he jumped at it.
By the end of 2020, Albon was dropped in favour of Sergio Perez to partner Max Verstappen. Albon became the team’s reserve driver before finding a seat at Williams in 2022 where he has shown that he is one of the brightest prospects on the grid.
Recently, Albon spoke to Sky F1’s pit lane reporter, Ted Kravitz, who told the Thai driver that when he had heard of his promotion to Red Bull, he had his doubts whether that was the right decision.
Albon admitted that he had doubts too, but how could he turn down such an opportunity? A top team at the pinnacle of motorsport? You’d be daft to say no.
“I can tell you I had a similar reaction,” Albon said. “I had to take the opportunity, even if you don’t feel ready or not.
“I guess maybe there’s a bit of naivety to it. But there’s also you could be stuck as a driver who had one chance, could have gone up and then chose not to. And who’s to say that you would have been offered a chance later on.”
At the time of Sergio Perez’s signing in 2021, Red Bull team principal, Christian Horner, said that Albon was “too nice” and that it worked against him. Kravitz asked Albon if he knew what Horner meant by this.
“Yeah, I do,” Albon replied.
“I think it’s more about I was in a position where I felt like I needed to say yes to everything, because I didn’t want to give up my chance, or be seen as someone I’m not.
“And in a way, like you’re just young, you want to get on with the people around you. You want to be in everyone’s good books and you want to make sure that you’re liked in the team and that’s just being young and kind of discovering the team, trying to fit in with the team.”
Kravitz half agreed with Horner’s comments but meant it in the best way possible.
“You know what, I think Christian was half right,” Kravitz said. “You are nice, but not in a bad way, actually in the best way.
“And it has nothing to do with your undoubted abilities as a racing driver and everything to do with the measure of the man that you are and that you’re becoming. So don’t give up. I think you’re on the right track.”
Indeed, Albon is on the right track having earned all of Williams 21 points so far in the 2023 season, propping the team up to 7th in the Constructors’, their highest result since 2017.