Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says Alex Albon’s performance in Brazil shows he can fight with the best drivers on the grid.
Albon was retained by Red Bull for 2020 in the lead-up to the Brazilian Grand Prix and then delivered his most competitive race for the team at Interlagos. After overtaking Sebastian Vettel around the outside of Turn 1 on the first safety car restart, he was running second ahead before Lewis Hamilton tapped him into a spin on the penultimate lap. Horner says the way he raced both Hamilton and Vettel bodes well for the future.
“He looked really comfortable racing world champions and it was a huge shame for him to lose that podium on the penultimate lap,” Horner said. “Lewis has obviously put his hand up and apologized; unfortunately it doesn’t get Alex’s podium back, but he can leave (Brazil) with his head held high.
“OK, he didn’t get the trophy but he’s impressed the whole team with his performance and again, it’s an encouraging signal for next year.
“I think it’s very clear for everyone to see. He’s now racing wheel-to-wheel with Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel and Ferraris and he’s making great progress. He’s impressed his whole team with his race craft.”
Albon has also benefited from a consistently competitive Red Bull in recent races and Horner says Honda’s power unit progress has played a part along with getting the most out of its chassis.
“All aspects, working very hard on setup — the subtleties of changes — Honda are making good progress, it’s all those elements coming together.
“When I saw that the last five pole positions (at Interlagos) had all been Mercedes, it’s fantastic for Honda for the first time since 1991 to score pole and get the victory as well. It shows their hard work is paying off and it really feels like we are building a good momentum.”