Now that Red Bull is replacing Alex Albon with Sergio Perez, the Thai driver is left without a drive for 2021. He is accepting a role as the reserve and test driver of the team since there is no vacancy at the sister team Alpha Tauri either.
One can feel nothing but pleased happiness for Perez, he could easily have been without a drive for 2021 himself. Whilst it is unbridled joy for Perez, it is agony for Albon, he has been driving, for the majority of this season, with a noose hanging over his neck.
However, Albon’s F1 career is not yet done and dusted; far from it. He is just 24 years old with the brand of Red Bull attached to his CV. So, how can he gain an entry back in an F1 car again?
Max Verstappen has been eating his teammates alive in his tenure with the team. Daniel Ricciardo. in some ways, left the team because of their willingness to build it more around the Dutchman. Since then, he has been in a different league altogether compared to Gasly and Albon.
What makes anyone think that Perez will be any different? Granted, he has more experience and now even a race win under his belt. However if Max outclasses him next season, they can look at the Thai once again to replace Perez in 2022; don’t count out a potential mid-season switch, either.
A seat can open up at this team anytime. Gasly has an inclination towards competing at the front end of the grid. Since a door at the senior team seems to be closed, he may leave soon.
Or what if the Honda-backed Tsunoda impresses significantly enough to earn a drive next to Max? Or what if totally tanks in his debut season? In either of the scenarios, an opportunity could open up for Albon.
The driver has sufficient backing and ability to get a seat outside Red Bull should he choose to opt-out. A flurry of lower mid-field teams like Haas, Williams and Alfa Romeo could vie for his signature if he is available.
Though not the strongest qualifier, his race craft is respectable and he was outscoring Daniil Kvyat in just his rookie season. In any case, he deserves a second shot in F1.