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Is Alex Albon’s career over or can he return to F1?

He's without a seat for 2021, but could a comeback be on the cards?

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Alex Albon’s F1 career has been anything but plain sailing. He joined what was Toro Rosso in 2019, before being promoted halfway through the season to replace Pierre Gasly at Red Bull. He raced a strong second half of the season, and kept his seat heading into 2020. Despite a decent start to the season Albon soon began to struggle against Max and some of the mid-field, and the team decided to hire Sergio Perez to partner Max Verstappen in 2021. Following this setback we ask the question ‘Could Alex ever return to F1?’ It’s certainly possible, but is it likely? Perhaps not. 

Despite being dropped for 2021, Albon continues in the Red Bull family as a test and reserve driver for the Milton Keynes based outfit. He is juggling these duties alongside a drive in DTM for the Alpha Tauri team, but tells the media he doesn’t think his DTM results will effect his chances of returning to F1.

Albon is older than many people realise, he’s 25 years old, just over a year older than Daniil Kvyat. Although this is by no means old, time perhaps isn’t on his side if he wants to perform at his peak should an F1 comeback be on the cards. If 2022 doesn’t provide an opportunity for a full time race seat, is it time for Alex to look for alternative series to join?

When Alex finished 3rd in the F2 season in 2018 he looked destined to follow the route Nyck de Vries took and join Formula E. But the Red Bull programme came calling and he found himself in F1, for this reason, some say he’s lucky to be in F1 at all. Could Formula E be the future for Albon, following the likes of Stoffel Vandoorne?

My personal feeling is that, if Alex was to return to F1, he needs to find a seat outside of the Red Bull programme. The chances of him being re-promoted to Red Bull are slim with the likes of Yuki Tsunoda showing rapid speed in the Alpha Tauri, and the team have some promising youngsters that will be wanting the seat such as Liam Lawson and Juri Vips.

Alex celebrating his maiden podium at Mugello last year

This of course poses the question: If not Red Bull, then where? Well, Mercedes and Ferrari are set for the next few years with various driver combinations so they are out of the question. A return to Red Bull is unlikely given the way his first stint worked out. Alpine have a strong lineup with their current drivers, and with Gasly rumoured to be holding talks for 2022, no seat appears to be free.

McLaren is theoretically a possibility should Lando go to Mercedes in 2022, but this is incredibly unlikely. Aston Martin are almost guaranteed to keep Sir Lancelot and Seb so that’s them out.

One possibility is Alfa Romeo, their 2021 car looks strong and should Kimi decide to retire Albon would provide some experience a team like that require. Haas, no way.

Williams is also an option for Albon, with Russell potentially moving to Mercedes and Latifi currently underperforming there is every chance that two seats open up. Although they are currently back markers, Williams will be hoping the 2022 regulation changes spring them back into contention. While Jack Aitken is favourite to take one potential seat, him and Alex could provide a deadly duo.

So, is a comeback possible? 100%. But Alex unquestionably needs the situations to fall into place perfectly to allow this to happen, never say never. I, for one hope he returns and is given the chance to redeem himself, he’s such a positive figure in the paddock he deserves a seat!

“I want that seat back” vows Albon

Headline image: Getty images 

Sub image: F1.com

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