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Alexander Albon

The Morning After: Only getting worse

Alexander Albon

At a time when Alex Albon needs to ram home why he should stay with Red Bull next year, Friday’s crash in Bahrain did the exact opposite.

While it wasn’t the most egregious mistake we’ve seen in Formula 1 this year, it was certainly an avoidable one, and does nothing to help Albon’s fragile confidence nor boost support from the team around him, which now has to put extra resources into fixing his car.

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Really, it reminds me of a boxing match. Albon, the scrappy underdog, has received a big fight he isn’t ready for, and after several knockdowns, we’re all just wondering when his cornermen – Helmut Marko and Christian Horner – are going to throw-in the towel. The thing is, his corner still believes he has a knockout punch in him, and despite his wobbly legs, is willing to keep him out there in the slim hope he will find it.

Maybe that Rocky­-style recovery is coming, but as is, it’s a risky game Marko and Horner are playing, one that is as likely to destroy Albon’s F1 career as it is to save it. Forget keeping his seat at the Red Bull senior team, it will be hard to justify moving him to AlphaTauri and preventing Yuki Tsunoda from getting his shot, should things continue on their current trajectory – for his sake, here’s hoping they don’t.

Friday Figures

Four. Different midfield teams between P4 and P7 in FP2. The result out-front may be a foregone conclusion, but between Racing Point, Renault, AlphaTauri and McLaren, there’s hope that this circuit can still deliver some fireworks.

1.139 seconds. Deficit to the top for the fastest Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel in FP2, good enough for P12. Turkey isn’t seeming like so much of a turning-point all of a sudden…

One. Dog on track. Thankfully, it wasn’t Roscoe.

Quick Hits

Sergio Perez has scheduled a press conference for Monday, according to Spanish journalist David Sánchez Olmos. If it’s him scheduling it and not Red Bull, does that mean he’s announcing his departure from F1?

Lewis Hamilton might not like it, but wasn’t the point of the 2021 Pirelli tyres to make the cars slower?

Potentially big news with Mattia Binotto revealing Ferrari is now supporting an engine freeze – especially as it seems his team’s approval comes with the caveat the next engine formula is moved-up from 2026 to 2025. The sooner we get off these current engines, the better.