Red Bull would be ‘stupid’ to ignore castaway as potential Sergio Perez replacement

Jamie Woodhouse
Red Bull driver Sergio Perez during qualifying. Miami May 2023.

Red Bull driver Sergio Perez approaches Turn 11 in Miami. May 2023.

Le Mans winner Richard Bradley said it would be “stupid” if Alex Albon was not on the Red Bull radar, the same going for all leading Formula 1 teams.

Albon has prior experience as a Red Bull driver, racing for the Austrian outfit for a season-and-a-half from 2019-2020, before being demoted to the reserve driver role for 2021 after struggling to perform against Max Verstappen.

That cleared the way for Red Bull to look outside of their driver programme and draft in Sergio Perez to partner Verstappen.

Alex Albon should be under Red Bull consideration

Since that disappointment though Albon has re-built his career at Williams having joined the team ahead of the 2022 campaign, with his string of impressive performances, including a best result with the team of P7 at the 2023 Canadian GP, sparking rumours of a potential future return to Red Bull as Perez now feels the pressure of being Verstappen’s team-mate.

Red Bull principal Christian Horner and senior advisor Helmut Marko have both praised Albon for his strong showings, who has also been mentioned as a candidate for a Ferrari seat.

And Bradley, who claimed an LMP2 class win at the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans, said it would be “stupid” if these teams are not tracking the Anglo-Thai racer.

Asked during the On Track GP podcast whether Red Bull will come knocking on Albon’s door, Bradley replied: “I mean, he left them on good terms and they’ve all said that.

“I know Alex a little bit and I don’t really see how you can have bad terms with him, he’s such a nice guy.

“You’d be stupid not to start thinking about him and looking at him. He’s personable. He’s very marketable obviously with the Thailand connection as well, and he’s doing a phenomenal job.

“And he’s been in those big environments before, he’s probably grown up quite a bit now and become a lot more mature.

“And he’s still quite young as well, so it’s not like you’re taking someone right at the end of their career, you could build something around him.” recommends

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This Alex Albon can handle the pressure

The obvious factor which potentially works against Albon returning to Red Bull is the fact he has been there before and wilted under the enormous pressure of being Verstappen’s team-mate.

However, Bradley argues that Albon has encountered heavy pressure on multiple occasions as a Williams driver, withstanding the test and thriving, which should serve as proof that he is ready for another shot with a front-running team.

“The difference is with Alex now compared to the Alex that we had when he was at Red Bull initially, was that you could see a couple of times him buckling under pressure,” said Bradley.

“But there’s been lots of times that he’s been under extreme pressure in this Williams, i.e. we look at Canada, and he’s handled every single one of those times exceptionally well.

“So I think he’s got to be in the conversation with the big teams. And to be honest with you, he’s probably in a position where it’s not just one of the big teams looking at him. It’s probably all of them.”

This was just one topic of discussion from an engaging new edition of the On Track GP podcast which you can watch below in full, and don’t forget to head over and subscribe to On Track GP’s YouTube channel, launched in collaboration with DR Sports, to see our full collection of videos from the season so far.

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