Alex Albon’s performance at the Styrian Grand Prix has been criticised with Jolyon Palmer saying he is “offering nothing” in the fight at the top.
Albon cut a bit of a lonely figure during the second race at the Red Bull Ring whilst Max Verstappen was trying to make life somewhat difficult for the two Mercedes cars.
Albon did get the hurry up when Sergio Perez was closing in at a real rate on the Red Bull driver but his P4 finish has not really won him many plaudits.
Palmer said that Albon needs to improve and his performance highlighted the importance of having two high-calibre drivers in the team to fight together against their rivals, name-checking Fernando Alonso who will be returning to the grid with Renault in 2021.
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“It was Spa last year he made his [Red Bull] debut and he looked quite racy then,” Palmer said on BBC Five Live’s Chequered Flag podcast.
“But remember he didn’t do qualifying so he started at the back and had a nice race coming through and finished fifth. You thought ‘Ok we don’t know the pace yet but he is racy’.
“We can still confirm he is racy, maybe too racy at times, but the pace is not there and this is now becoming a worry.
“I have to say after about 40 of 71 laps I could have seen this being a Gasly race [for Albon]. He was going at a rate where Verstappen would have lapped him.
“He was best part of a second of a lap down on average and fortunately Alex did manage to pick up his pace when Perez attacked and he then went quite quickly in the closing stages, but he is just a long way adrift.
“In that fight Red Bull have with Mercedes, this is why you put someone like Fernando Alonso in the car. If you have two Max Verstappens then maybe Bottas doesn’t finish second [at the Styrian Grand Prix].
“One Max Verstappen can get beaten and potentially him and someone like Alonso can work together but Albon, as he is right now, is offering nothing to that front fight and he needs to improve to help the team.”
Albon, who was denied a podium finish and perhaps even a race win at the season opener following a collision with Lewis Hamilton, is sat P8 in the Drivers’ Championship with 12 points to his name.