After losing his Red Bull Racing seat to Sergio Pérez for the 2021 Formula 1 season, Alexander Albon says he will be doing everything he can to get back onto the Formula 1 grid in 2022.
The Anglo-Thai driver was demoted to the role of Test and Reserve Driver for Red Bull this season after losing his seat alongside Max Verstappen after a mediocre 2020 that saw him finish only twice on the podium across the seventeen races.
He will race in the DTM Series in selected races in 2021 alongside his Red Bull reserve driver duties, although he will be on standby should any of the regular drivers either in Red Bull or Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda be unavailable this year.
“My goal is to be back in a seat and be ready – you never know what will happen with COVID,” Albon is quoted as saying by BBC Sport. “I am confident in myself.
“I know I can bounce back and that is my target. We just have to see how things work out.”
Albon says he knew almost immediately that there was no point feeling sorry for himself over losing the seat, and he pushed himself to get back into the swing of things and get over the disappointment quickly.
“Very quickly it was one of those things where there is no point feeling sorry for yourself,” said Albon. “You have to get back into it and do as much as you can to get back.
“It hasn’t been all that bleak. There haven’t been any violins in the background. It has been more just getting back into it.
“I have been dropped before. It has not been the first time. But what I learned was how much do I want it. I believe I want it more than anyone on the grid. With that comes a lot of determination and I won’t stop ever.”
Albon says his main role for 2021 is to help Red Bull address some of the shortfalls of its 2020 car, most of which will be carried into the new season following regulation changes aimed at saving money. He says he will be available should he be needed, either for Red Bull or AlphaTauri.
“This year (it’s about) trying to address some difficulties with last year’s car,” he said, “and then into this year, simulator support, being there for all four drivers, including Alpha Tauri.
“If there is any situation when I’m needed, I am there for the team. There is no actual driving (in F1) unless something happens. I have the DTM gig, which I will do to the best of my ability.
“And on top of that the team know what I’m capable of, they would have gotten rid of me if they didn’t believe in me. They still trust me and still have faith in what I do.”