Alex Albon’s fall from Formula 1 after just two seasons shows how hard and even unfair Formula 1 can be, according to his friend and current McLaren F1 driver Lando Norris.
Along with Wiliams F1’s George Russell, Norris and Albon raced through the junior ranks together and remained close as they ascended to Formula 1. British-born Thai Albon was often the quicker of the trio in the junior categories, but he notably struggled alongside Max Verstappen at Red Bull last year and has since been replaced by Sergio Perez.
Albon will be a reserve driver with Red Bull in 2021 while racing in the German touring car series DTM in 2021.
“Formula 1 can be a very hard world and we’re seeing that again,” Norris, 21, said on Monday when asked about Albon’s lot for 2021. “It’s difficult because I’m good friends with Alex. We get along well and have always had good conversations, although we haven’t actually talked much about Red Bull.”
“I’m sorry for him. He’s a very good driver. It’s hard. It just goes to show again how hard Formula 1 can be. It can even happen to an extremely good driver. He beat everyone in all the junior categories, but once you’re in Formula 1 it’s all different. just a bit more competitive. It can be a very unfair world.”
Albon, just 24, has made 38 starts in Formula 1. He scored podiums in 2020 at Tuscany and Bahrain and finished seventh in the F1 Drivers’ Championship after finishing eight in 2019. His 2019 season was split between Red Bull and Toro Rosso.
“You can lose your spot just like that and it’s all over as quickly as it started,” Norris said. “I don’t know what to say about it. I like Alex and have a lot of respect for him. It’s a shame he lost his seat, but I’m sure he’s going to do everything he can to fight back and get back into F1.”
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