Alex Albon thinks the key to unlocking his potential at Red Bull is by being able to “hustle” in the car like Max Verstappen is able to do.
Albon’s future with the Red Bull team has been frequently questioned throughout the 2020 campaign and, although a first podium of his Formula 1 career arrived at Mugello, the doubt soon crept back in after he followed up with a P10 finish at Sochi.
Red Bull are still yet to confirm which driver will be lining up alongside Verstappen in 2021, so what does Albon need to work on precisely to keep himself in a Red Bull seat?
“It’s hard to really pinpoint truthfully,” Albon told Motorsport.com about what specifically he has struggled with at Red Bull.
“I just want more confidence.
“I think for Max, he’s on the limit all the way through the corner. And he’s definitely not afraid of it moving around on him. You can watch a qualifying lap of Max and you can see how how he’s hustling it.
“You’ve got to find a middle ground.
“A quick car doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a comfortable car. You’ve got to be able to use it and be on the limit of where the car needs be set to, to get the most from it. So it’s a compromise.”
Albon puts Verstappen’s confidence with the car to down to experience gained over the years, whereas he is still yet to complete a first full season with the team.
He added: “And it’s just time in the car, really. I know we’re midway through the season now, but it’s still a relatively new feeling in the team with the car.
“Max has been here for what, five years now. He’s kind of been able to develop and have a driving style around it, where of course for me it is still figuring it out, and still learning and working with my engineers just to exploit it and get the most out of it.”
In a bid to help Albon improve his form and get fully involved in the top four fight alongside Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas and Verstappen, Red Bull drafted Simon Rennie – who had previously worked with Daniel Ricciardo – back in as his new race engineer.
Albon is grateful to the team for the support they have given him.
He said: “I’d say experience wise, Simon brings a lot, especially with radio communication and things like that. He is really on the ball with that.
“He obviously has experience and he knows the people here as well in terms of whether it’s Rocky [Guillaume Rocquelin, head of race engineering] or Pedals [Paul Monaghan, chief engineer].
“It’s a good environment here at the team. There’s a lot of support here, and there’s a high positive morale constantly, which is nice.”