Alexander Albon says all the stories surrounding pressure racing in the second Red Bull Racing seat alongside Max Verstappen are ‘a myth’, and it was only pressure from within that cost him his seat with the team for 2021.
Albon lost his drive with Red Bull for this season as the team opted to replace him with Mexican Sergio Pérez, with the Anglo-Thai driver dropping down to the role of test and reserve driver. However, he will find himself back on the Formula 1 grid in 2022 as he replaces Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team-bound George Russell at Williams Racing.
With Pérez seemingly struggling as did both Albon and Pierre Gasly before him as Verstappen’s team-mate, the role of second driver at the team has again been discussed, with many believing the pressure of being the Dutchman’s team-mate is putting too much on each driver.
However, Albon believes this is not the case, and it is the pressure from within himself that was the defining factor of his success with Red Bull in the second half of 2019 and the whole of the 2020 campaign.
“To be honest, all the stories about pressure are a bit of a myth,” Albon said to Motorsport-Total.com. “The bottom line is that the driver puts the pressure on himself, that comes from you.”
Albon says the media in Formula 1 manage to make things a lot worse than they are, something that is not as prevalent in the DTM Series, the category he races in during 2021 in a AlphaTauri-backed AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo. He goes into this weekend’s penultimate round at the Hockenheimring sixth in the standings with one win to his name, which came at the Nürburgring in August.
“The media are much more aggressive there,” he said. “You are still there to perform and do your job well. So when I drive in the DTM, I put myself under pressure to do well.”