Feb.7 (GMM) Two F1 insiders are not so sure Alex Albon is really a worthy candidate for one of the top seats on the grid.
The Williams driver is not only being linked with Sergio Perez’s place at Red Bull for 2024, he is also being mentioned as a good candidate to replace Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes in 2025.
Veteran Formula 1 journalist Roger Benoit, however, isn’t totally convinced that Albon, 27, would really fare any better alongside Max Verstappen compared to his first failed Red Bull stint in 2019 and 2020.
“Williams is a one-man team,” he headlined in Blick newspaper, referring to the fact that Albon’s performance is difficult to evaluate alongside Logan Sargeant.
“Unfortunately, they will again start 2024 with the weakest driver.”
Christijan Albers, a former F1 driver, agrees, telling De Telegraaf: “You have to look at pure performance, and when I do that, he (Albon) always has a driver next to him that means he’s in a kind of warm bath.
“He doesn’t have the pressure to perform. I think he is doing well at Williams, but if he returns to Red Bull, he will really be killed off. And if he goes to Mercedes, it won’t work out at all.
“I don’t see that aggression in him. Look at Monza (2022). Nyck de Vries comes in and immediately scores a point. He gets a seat on that basis for the following year and he completely fails.
“Albon can simply drive well at Williams,” Albers added. “If you put him next to someone like Max, he will automatically perform less well because there is that unconscious pressure.
“Then he feels less comfortable and starts making mistakes.”
Albers thinks a better new teammate for Verstappen would actually be Liam Lawson.
“I see him as a street fighter like a (Oscar) Piastri,” he said. “As for Mercedes, they can also go full risk as they already have a good driver in George Russell. An (Kimi) Antonelli? Why not?”