Helmut Marko has blamed Lewis Hamilton for Red Bull dropping Alex Albon at the end of the 2020 season.
Why Helmut Marko believes that Hamilton is to blame of Alex Albon downfall?
Red Bull's team adviser Helmut Marko believes that Lewis Hamilton is to blame for Red Bull dropping Alex Albon after two collisions saw the British-Thai driver lose confidence. At the end of the 2020 season Red Bull then dropped Albon for the more experienced Sergio Perez who was out of a drive at Racing Point who are now known as Aston Martin.
The first collision took place at the 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix in the final stages of the race when Hamilton tagged the back end of the Red Bull, spinning Albon and sending him down to the back of the field. The second incident came at the 2020 Austrian Grand Prix after Albon tried to go around the outside of Hamilton at turn 4 where the two collided as the exit creates a pinch point when drivers try to go around the outside.
On the Inside Line Podcast Helmut Marko said, “Alex, I have to say, was really unlucky. “In Brazil, he was fighting for second position when Hamilton turned him around. Fine, it didn’t help Alex. But he lost his podium.
“And the next, which was more severe, was in Austria, when Alex was fighting for the win when, again, it was turned around by Hamilton. That hit his confidence massively… massively. Second, or even the win, was on the table. Someone took the glory away. That made it difficult from this moment, his self-confidence was down and we needed someone we knew to fight for the championship, we needed two solid drivers.”
Helmut Marko never shies away from giving his strong opinions but the 2020 season showed that Albon just was not ready to be fighting at the top so early in his career. Red Bull and Helmut Marko wanted a driver that was 0.3s away from Verstappen in qualifying and race pace but Albon was not the answer.
The young driver seemed to struggle to get to grips with the RB16 with only two podiums that season with his highest finish being third. It seemed as if whatever plagued Pierre Gasly at Red Bull carried onto effect Alex Albon.
It is difficult in F1 when drivers are not confident in themselves but when your teammate is Max Verstappen and the team rallies behind him for their best chances and show little to no support for their second driver that driver is more than likely to sink rather than swim.