UNITED KINGDOM: Red Bull’s motorsport advisor, Helmut Marko, has blamed Lewis Hamilton for the downfall of Alex Albon’s Formula 1 career. Albon, now an established member of the F1 midfield as the lead driver at Williams, faced a turbulent period during his time at Red Bull Racing, ultimately leading to his departure from the team after just a year and a half alongside Max Verstappen.
Albon’s journey at Red Bull started on a high note, with a rapid promotion from Toro Rosso in mid-2019 to replace Pierre Gasly.
However, his form took a nosedive during his tenure, and Marko believes that part of this decline was the impact of two crucial incidents involving Lewis Hamilton.
The first incident occurred during the 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix, when Albon was in second place. Hamilton, attempting to overtake Gasly for third, made contact with Albon, spinning him out and forcing him to finish in 14th place.
Hamilton received a five-second penalty for the collision. The second collision happened during the first race of the COVID-affected 2020 season, the Austrian Grand Prix.
Albon, who had just pitted for soft tires and was in contention for victory, was once again hit by Hamilton, causing him to retire due to an electrical issue. Hamilton received another five-second penalty and finished fourth.
Marko suggests that these incidents significantly impacted Albon’s confidence and self-belief. According to Marko, the collisions robbed Albon of potential podium finishes and shattered his confidence.
As a result, Red Bull decided to replace Albon with veteran Sergio Perez for the following year, seeking two solid drivers to fight for the championship.
Despite his struggles, Albon remained an essential part of the Red Bull team in 2021, serving as their reserve driver and contributing to simulator work and development. His efforts behind the scenes played a crucial role in Max Verstappen’s title victory.
Red Bull supported Albon in the driver market, eventually helping him secure a seat with Williams for the current season.
While Albon’s career at Red Bull did not pan out as expected, Marko’s comments shed light on his challenges and the impact of the incidents involving Lewis Hamilton.
As Albon continues his journey with Williams, he will aim to rebuild his confidence and showcase his talent in the highly competitive world of Formula 1.