Marko: Hamilton ‘destroyed Albon’s career’

Date published: July 18 2021 - Henry Valantine

Lewis Hamilton Alex Albon PA

Helmut Marko has claimed that Lewis Hamilton “destroyed Alex Albon’s career” at Red Bull after the pair collided in Austria last year.

Albon was on a charge through at that point following a late Safety Car, leading Red Bull’s efforts after Max Verstappen retired from the race – and he was within striking distance of the two Mercedes cars in the latter stages of the race.

He then attempted a brave move around the outside of the seven-time World Champion at  Turn 4 at the Red Bull Ring, but Hamilton ran him wide and the pair ended up making contact – leaving Albon spinning in the Austrian gravel.

Red Bull boss Dr Marko marked that as a particular moment where Albon’s decline within the team started, knocking his confidence and seemingly not being able to recover after that incident.

“Turn 4 is famous. That’s where I think Hamilton destroyed Albon’s career,” Marko claimed in an interview with Motorsport-Total.com.

“If Hamilton hadn’t sent him out there in 2020, Albon would have won the race. Then maybe everything would have been completely different, because the psyche and the self-confidence then naturally develop completely differently.”

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Lewis Hamilton Alex Albon PA

The Austrian accident was not the only time the pair had come together, either.

Albon was looking to secure a 1-2 for Red Bull at the 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix, but Hamilton lunged up the inside of the Red Bull and spun him around on the penultimate lap, ruining Albon’s hopes of what would have been his first Formula 1 podium at the time.

Ultimately, Red Bull plumped for Sergio Perez after a difficult and inconsistent season for Albon, where he was unable to get close to or match Verstappen on a regular basis.

Albon admitted himself that he finds it hard to watch F1 races now that he is on the sidelines and, while he has continued with the team as a reserve driver, Marko explained how Perez earned that seat over the Red Bull junior driver at the end of last season.

“The difference is: Perez has more consistency,” he stated. “When he gets his qualifying sessions right, like second in Imola or third at the Red Bull Ring, those are results that Albon didn’t have. And in the race, he’s almost at Verstappen level when he has a clear run.”

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