F1 star branded ‘hot property’ reveals tantrums if Michael Schumacher did not win

Jamie Woodhouse
Michael Schumacher and Jean Todt, Ferrari

Michael Schumacher and Ferrari team boss Jean Todt on the podium at the 2006 Italian Grand Prix.

Alex Albon, branded “hot property” again in F1 by his former Red Bull team boss Christian Horner, opened up on Michael Schumacher’s influence on his childhood, and inspiration for tantrums!

When Albon was a young racing fan, Schumacher was dominating the F1 scene, winning five World titles in a row with Ferrari between 2000-04.

So strong was this influence on a young Albon that ‘Ferrari’ was one of the first words he learned, or ‘Rari’ to more accurately reflect his version.

Michael Schumacher wins key to a happy Alex Albon

Thankfully for Albon’s family, Schumacher was no stranger to winning, but when it did not happen, he sure made his feelings about it clear.

But fear not, because if Schumacher did not take the win, then the back-up plan was to fire up the video player and the 2001 F1 season highlights, the sight of Schumacher winning soon calming young Albon down.

“I was an obsessed kid when I was growing up,” said Albon on the High Performance Podcast. “One of my first words was ‘Ferrari’, which I would call ‘Rari’.

“It was Ferrari and then exhausts – I loved seeing four tailpipes – which were ‘smokes’. So I always used to shout out ‘smokes’ or ‘Rari’.

“I was a massive Michael Schumacher fan, used to throw the biggest tantrums as a kid if Michael didn’t win.

“My mum used to have a VHS of like 2001 Formula 1 highlights review and I knew all the races that he won that year, so as soon as I would have  an off or a bad day or whatever, that was straight in, playing a Michael win.”

Albon’s father was also a huge influence on his racing passion growing up, Nigel competing on the touring car and sports car racing scene.

So as Albon got older, his fledgling racing career became very much a “father/son thing”.

“So I always wanted to be a racing driver,” Albon continued. “And my dad used to race…I’ll call him a semi-professional, I think he would like that!

“I got into racing as he stopped, so there was a bit of a crossover there. But he was the one who was my engineer, my mechanic, my driver coach. That was very much a father/son thing.”

PlanetF1.com recommends

F1 2024 calendar: Car launch dates, pre-season testing, TV schedule

F1 schedule: When is the next F1 race and where is it being held?

Christian Horner brands Alex Albon ‘hot property’ again

Albon made his Formula 1 debut in 2019 with Red Bull’s junior team Toro Rosso, earning a promotion to the main outfit halfway through that season.

Difficulties contending with the performance level of team-mate Max Verstappen saw him demoted to test and reserve driver after the 2020 season, but Albon has firmly put his name back on the radar since his return to the grid with Williams, leading the iconic team’s push back up the F1 pecking order.

A major decision now looms on where his career goes from here, Albon’s Williams contract up at the end of F1 2024, with Red Bull team boss Horner recently saying Albon has become “hot property” again.

“He’s brilliant, he’s fantastic and he did a fantastic job for us when he stepped down to be test driver,” said Horner of Albon on the Eff Won podcast.

“He never complained, he never moaned, he put in the hours and I was really happy I was able to find him a seat in Williams and he’s found his form, he’s got the experience now, he’s toughened for sure and he’s a hot property again.”

Albon will once more have Logan Sargeant as his Williams team-mate for F1 2024.

Read next: Eddie Jordan tips one F1 team to spring ‘big surprise’ in F1 2024