Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko says Alex Albon is doing a better job than his results suggest.
Although the Thai driver’s average qualifying position of P9 is five places further back than teammate Max Verstappen, and in races it is P7 v P2, Marko says Red Bull’s analysis offers a better insight into his form.
Marko cites the fact that at Silverstone, Albon was the quickest man on track at some points of both races – which shows the potential to do well is there if he can lift his one-lap form on a Saturday.
“Albon’s performances are perceived worse than they are in reality,” Marko told Motorsport.com in an exclusive interview.
“In Barcelona, we went too far in terms of setup in our attempt to give him a more stable rear end.
“No matter what type of tyre he had on, hard, medium or soft, after eight laps we had temperatures outside the [operating] window. So he just slipped around. His qualifying was better.
“And what is completely overlooked is that in both Silverstone races, he was the fastest man in the second stint – faster than Verstappen. He also proved at the Red Bull Ring that when he gets into his rhythm, he’s absolutely fast.”
Red Bull has been working on trying to make Albon more comfortable with the way that the aero balance of the RB16 shifts around during a lap between high and slow speed corners.
But its telemetry data has highlighted how much potential Albon has.
“Albon is very good with his technical statements,” added Marko. “His performance in the races is very good, and especially in fast corners he is on the level of Verstappen.
“He then loses two tenths again in a single corner. But that’s not an issue for us. We’ll see this through.”
Marko insists, however, that Albon cannot use his early step up to the Red Bull team as an excuse for not delivering – especially with AlphaTauri boss Franz Tost always believing youngsters need two to three years to fully develop.
“Verstappen didn’t have so much time either,” added Marko. “Perhaps Franz Tost’s opinion is a bit too conservative.
“Those who can’t deal with it would probably not have managed an absolute top career anyway. But such drivers are not suitable for Red Bull Racing anyway.”
Source: Read Full Article