Paul Monaghan speaks highly of Alexander Albon when he was with Red Bull for a brief period of time despite thrown at a deep end.
After the difficulties faced by Pierre Gasly with Red Bull, the team decided to replace him with Albon midway in the season much like how Max Verstappen replaced Daniil Kvyat. The tradition is debatable but since it is part of the risky deal, there’s nothing that can be done.
Albon was thrown at a steep end but he managed well in the second half of 2019 season. The full year in 2022 was up and down for the Thai racer as Red Bull lost crucial moments in the fight against Mercedes pair of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.
He was eventually replaced by Sergio Perez for 2021 as Albon spent the year racing in DTM and as reserve of Red Bull. He made his F1 return with Williams last year and it seemed like he was never away with consistent results driving a difficult car.
Red Bull technical chief Monaghan has praise for Albon and his skills while admitting that he was indeed thrown at a deep end with Verstappen but he did well. “Thinking back to Alex’s time with us, you came across a very conscientious, polite, gifted driver,” he said. “And he had a pretty good idea of what he wanted from the car straight off.
“He knew when it wasn’t to his liking and could tell you what was to his dislike. We didn’t always manage to give him a car that was adequate for his wants. Obviously he had a pretty rapid teammate, which puts a little bit more pressure on him. And he handled that, I thought, exceptionally well for a young driver.
“In 2021, you saw a driver who was frustrated, yet able to deal with this situation. And you saw someone who was learning and worked with us. But rather than being despondent for that year, he used that year and now he’s come back with Williams and it’s nice to see him near the front of the grid, it’s nice to see the progress and it’s nice to see them scoring points.
“So full credit to Alex for enduring a reasonably tough time, learning, not being despondent and pushing himself on to achieve what his talents deserve. So many congratulations to him. And long may his growth in the sport continue,” summed up Monaghan.
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