Alex Albon insists he is staying clear of expectations and pressure following his Red Bull promotion.
The Austrian outfit made the call over the summer break to demote Pierre Gasly back to Toro Rosso while Albon came the other way to take Gasly’s seat.
It was a move few expected to happen. 2019 is Albon’s first season back in the Red Bull fold and his rookie Formula 1 campaign – he hadn’t even turned a wheel in modern F1 machinery before this season.
But the man who finished P3 in the 2018 F2 Championship now finds himself in the Red Bull hot seat, and his focus is on getting up to speed rather than competing with team-mate Max Verstappen and setting expectations.
Speaking on F1’s official Beyond the Grid podcast, he said: “I haven’t had a list to do this, do that, be here, be there.
“Of course we want to take the fight to Ferrari and Mercedes, that’s quite clear. The main thing right now has been just trying to get up to speed and not put pressure on yourself and put expectations on yourself, so early in your time with Red Bull.
“That has really been the focus, and really what Christian [Horner] and Dr. [Helmut] Marko have been saying: Max is where he is because he knows the team, he knows everything about it, so don’t expect to be fighting with him straight away.
“It will take time. And I do believe that as well, that’s how I see it. In terms of what I have to do, I don’t know, truthfully. I just want to perform at my best, see how I do, and I know I don’t have experience like other people. I do know I’m going to get better.
“It’s just about giving myself that time and not stressing exactly that very thing of not putting targets on myself, and just letting the natural evolution occur.
“If that’s fighting for podiums at the end of the year, that’s great, but I’m not putting myself in that situation.”