Christian Horner backs Red Bull cast-off to become ‘hot property’ in F1

Jamie Woodhouse
Christian Horner looks to the side. Spa, Belgium. July 2023.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner sees Alex Albon as "hot property" in F1.

Thriving at Williams since his Red Bull exit, Alex Albon is now “hot property” on the Formula 1 driver market once more according to Red Bull boss Christian Horner.

Having joined Williams ahead of the 2022 campaign, Albon has settled into the team leader position as the Grove outfit bid to climb their way back up the pecking order and return to their former glory days of race and title wins.

And Albon, a driver rejuvenated at Williams having crumbled as Max Verstappen’s Red Bull team-mate, looks like a driver very capable of taking Williams there, if they can keep hold of him.

Alex Albon “hot property” in Formula 1 again

When appearing on the Eff Won podcast, Horner revisited the decision to replace Albon with Sergio Perez at the end of 2020, Horner admitting that the Thai racer was called up from their junior team “too soon” as he struggled to contend with the performance level of Verstappen.

“I remember we were struggling at the time with Alex Albon, because he had come in too soon and we just needed somebody,” said Horner.

“Checo at the time, at the end of ’20, he’d just won that race in Bahrain from the back of the grid and it was like, ‘We need somebody with a chunk of experience, that brings another dimension to being Max’s team-mate’.

“And he certainly did that in ’21 and he’s been a big part of the success the last few years.”

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Skip ahead to present day in F1 2023 and Perez remains Verstappen’s team-mate, though this season he has, like Albon and Pierre Gasly before that, faced intense scrutiny for poor performances compared to Verstappen in the Red Bull RB19.

And podcast host Dax Shepard said that Albon is the driver who he would like to see alongside Verstappen at Red Bull going forward.

Horner would dish out the praise for Albon in reply, a driver who he says has “toughened” at Williams to make himself a driver in demand.

“Yeah, he’s brilliant, he’s fantastic and he did a fantastic job for us when he stepped down to be test driver,” said Horner.

“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 is contracted to Williams until the end of F1 2024 and has remained coy on his future, affirming his commitment to Williams for the remainder of his current deal.

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