Max Verstappen hopes that the 2020 F1 season will see a collaborative work at Red Bull Racing with Alexander Albon, which is similar to like how it was with Daniel Ricciardo.
After a mid-season switch from AlphaTauri (Toro Rosso) to Red Bull for Albon against Pierre Gasly, teammate Verstappen complimented the Thai driver’s personality firstly, but also his skill, which brought him plenty of success with both the outfits in 2019 F1 season.
Albon had a dream 12 months, where he made it to F1 from F2/Formula E and within a year, he got a seat at Red Bull, where he will continue in 2020 as well. He did miss out to Gasly in the standings and also a podium in Brazil but impressed everyone.
“He’s very laid back, he’s very relaxed, and he’s a nice guy and he seems to be enjoying it, and I think it was a bit of a change, of course, but it seems like he fits in very well with the team,” said Verstappen. “I think for next year as well, it was the obvious choice to make.
“He had nothing to lose. Twelve months ago he had no F1 drive and then suddenly he gets an F1 drive in AlphaTauri and then he gets promoted to Red Bull, so you’re living the dream. You love what you’re doing, and there is no pressure.
“That is because 12 months ago you were doing something else. So I think that helps a lot. And I can see it. I can feel it. His approach is like that, so yeah, of course, I am very happy for him that he’s here, and he’s really nice and well in the team.”
While he praised the work of Albon but Verstappen was burdened with a lot of work at Red Bull, with him playing the role of a senior driver after the departure of Ricciardo. The two got along well and the Australian gave him a stiff fight, which he missed in 2020.
On development side as well, Verstappen admitted that it became tough as Red Bull had to help Gasly and Albon to adjust in all of 2019. With good six months, the Dutchman hopes that the Thai racer will be more helpful in 2020.
He feels the experience will make room for collaboration between the two teammates – something similar to that with Ricciardo. “In 2019, from the other side of the garage was always like a learning experience,” said Verstappen.
“And the direction – like before with Daniel – we were always splitting directions, and then we would come to one agreement. Hopefully from 2020 onward, we can work in that direction again, because, of course, for Alex as well, it was all about learning tracks and learning the car, so it was not an easy combination.”
Christian Horner on stable rules for F1 2020
Here’s Pierre Gasly on his driving at Toro Rosso and Red Bull
Christian Horner highlights Alexander Albon’s debut season
The story was co-written by Duncan Leahy