Former Red Bull driver Alex Albon says Red Bull adviser Helmut Marko is not a ‘villain’ as everyone brands him because of the team’s driver story.
Max Verstappen, who has displayed a very impressive performance with Red Bull has only had one long lasting teammate since he joined the team in 2016. This was Daniel Ricciardo who currently drives for McLaren, the two were together up to the end 2018 when the Australian chose to depart.
since Ricciardo’s departure, Verstappen has had three teammates up to date. The first was Pierre Gasly who was promoted from AlphaTauri but only lasted 12 races after Red Bull ousted him as the season was in progress and opted for Alexander Albon who went ahead to finish a challenging 2020 season with the team. Albon only did 25 races.
Red Bull announced late last year that former Racing Point driver Sergio Perez will be replacing Albon for the 2021 season. The teams decisions to change the drivers are spearheaded by Helmut Marko and team boss Christian Horner, with Marko even criticising his drivers in the media. Perhaps that is the reason he is branded as the bad guy in the Red Bull story.
Alex Albon says it is not fair how the 78-year-old Red Bull adviser is potrayed.
“I think there’s a misconception about it, truthfully speaking,” the Thai-British driver told the F1 Nation podcast.
“I think there’s that ‘villain’ role played within the media about it all, but it’s definitely nowhere near like that, basically.”
“You guys know more than I do. I think Helmut probably gets the worst role on the global side of it, but I think it’s just Red Bull in general.”
“Firstly, you have to realise they are a winning team, they expect good results.
“That leads to a culture within the team of ‘we’re not winning, we’re not happy’ and that’s how it should be really, especially the top three teams, generally being Red Bull, Ferrari, Mercedes, that’s what they expect.
“Of course it’s tough, especially when you don’t have much experience to be in a top team. But yeah, that is what it is. I think more than anything it’s just trying to get confident with the car.”
Albon will be making a return to the Formula 1 grid with Williams next year.