Alex Albon says there is no point ‘wallowing about’ over losing his Red Bull Formula 1 drive, because that will not help him win a race seat back.
The Thai driver has been replaced by Sergio Perez for this season, after Red Bull felt that Albon had not delivered what it needed in its bid to take the fight to Mercedes for 2021.
Albon has been retained as a reserve and test driver for this year, though, and is fully focused on convincing his bosses that he deserves another chance.
Speaking to selected media on Monday, Albon said that he quickly got over the hurt of being dropped, and was now completely focused on doing what he could to win back a drive with either Red Bull or AlphaTauri.
“It was disappointing and it is always going to be disappointing because this is our dream,” said Albon, when asked about how he dealt with the news of being dropped.
“But very quickly it was one of those things where there’s no point feeling sorry for yourself. You’ve got to get back into it and do as much as you can to get back.
“My goal of course is to be back in a seat next year, and just be ready for this year as well. You never know what’s going to happen in terms of fitness or with COVID around.
“This winter has been kind of making sure that I’m as ready as I can be, being as fit as I can, doing all the simulator stuff. And yes, even hopefully we get a few days where I can drive, and do some tyre tests and things like that.”
Albon says that being negative about what happened with Red Bull would achieve nothing, as he is well aware that if he does a good job he has a chance to be back in 2022.
Speaking about keeping a positive mindset, Albon said: “It’s something I’ve carried with me since a very early age, [which] is ‘what can I do right now that gives me a better chance or is beneficial to me?’ And the way I see it is that if you do wallow around, you’re not doing anything to open any doors or to get a seat back.
“So very quickly I think you just have to put yourself in a position where [it’s about] ‘what can you do as a driver to give you the best opportunity?’ And, to me, that was obviously to get straight back into it and not to be negative.”
While Albon is not guaranteed any opportunities in F1 cars that can convince Red Bull chiefs he should get a race seat for 2022, he has faith that some good showings in the DTM plus the team’s ongoing trust in him will be enough to give him a shot.
“Obviously there’s no actual driving unless something happens,” he explained. “I’ve got the DTM gig, which I’ll do to the best of my ability. And on top of that the team know what I am capable of.
“They would have gotten rid of me, let’s be truthful, if they didn’t believe in me. So on my side I know they still trust me, they still have faith in what I can do. And we just have to see how things work out during this year.”
Albon says he knows that he has to keep his head down and do the best job he can if he is to have a chance of coming back – and says he can call on his previous experience of winning his way back into the Red Bull programme after being dropped before.
“It’s not been the first time [I’ve been dropped],” he said. “But what I learned was, at the end of the day, how much do you want it? I want it more than I would say anyone on the grid, and with that comes a lot of determination. And I won’t stop at any point.
“So for me it’s just about putting my head down. I got through it before. I’ve been able to get to where I am, because of all the hard work I have done. And, as I said, I want that seat back.”