Alex Albon on what gives Max Verstappen ‘unique ability’ behind the wheel

Toby Miles
Alex Albon and Max Verstappen in the Mexico City paddock. October 2019

Red Bull drivers Alex Albon and Max Verstappen in the Mexico City paddock. October 2019

Max Verstappen’s former team-mate Alex Albon has been sharing thoughts on the “unique ability” the Dutchman has behind the wheel.

While Albon’s stint at Red Bull did not last as long as he would have wanted, he did spend 26 races alongside Verstappen before an additional season as the team’s test and reserve driver.

During that time, he would have had an up close view at Verstappen, a driver many have hailed as a generational talent and one that has also been described as having a unique style behind the wheel.

Albon may have departed the Red Bull family, moving to Williams in 2022, but is perhaps one of the best drivers on the grid to comment on Verstappen’s ability.

Speaking during pre-season testing, Albon said what made Verstappen unique was his ability to be at 100 percent for every single lap.

“I’d say, obviously there’s just the pure time level,” Albon told media including “Being at 100 percent, every lap, all the time, is quite a unique ability.

“The way that he drives the car as well, it’s clearly quick but it’s not easy to drive and I’m sure you’ve heard that from a few people but it is true and I think there’s some drivers who possibly have been a bit more comfortable in different ways, he’s very adaptable in how we he can drive.

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“I think there’s a very good connection with his engineers and with the people around him, you can see that he’s very at one with the car. You can see that everything looks natural for him, when he’s driving it’s a very clean driving style. But I know that he’s obviously on the limit.”

Albon is not the only driver to have found the seat next to Verstappen too hot to handle with Pierre Gasly another driver not to have lasted long in the Red Bull team. Both have landed on their feet with Albon at Williams while Gasly is preparing for his first season outside of the Red Bull family at Alpine.

The British-Thai driver has a new boss to get used to this season with James Vowles swapping Mercedes for Williams and Albon said their opening conversations have been focused on how to improve the car.

“To start with, he’s very normal just to have an open chat about what weaknesses are in the car, in the team and just kind of offloading.

“He’s spoken to a lot of people high up and likewise he wanted to have a chat with myself. He knows better than I do when it comes to management, that’s for sure, so it’s just an opinion more than anything else.”

Additional reporting by Thomas Maher