Skip to content

Red Bull back Alex Albon after 'ironic' Lewis Hamilton comments

Horner hits back at Hamilton, while Albon also shuts down comments; Red Bull insist Albon will continue to improve

Christian Horner has issued an impassioned defence of Alex Albon after Lewis Hamilton's claims that Red Bull needed both drivers challenging at the front in F1 2020 - with the team boss calling the remarks "ironic".

After Hamilton won the Belgian GP ahead of Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen - which has been the top three in all but two races so far this season - the six-time world champion said Verstappen was "on his own" fighting Mercedes and could do with some help from his team-mate.

Albon, who joined Red Bull mid-way through the 2019 season and impressed, has this year only finished in the top four once and has yet to out-qualify Verstappen, or place ahead of him in a race both have finished.

When questioned about the comments ahead of the Italian GP, Albon acknowledged that he needed to improve but that he "won't listen to what Lewis has to say". While Horner then responded on Friday:

"It's slightly ironic that Lewis is the guy that's taken him out of two podium positions!" he told Sky Sports F1.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton was glad to finish on a high at the Belgian Grand Prix, extending his championship lead to 47 points - but feels for Max Verstappen.

Hamilton and Albon collided at last year's Brazilian GP, as well as the season-opener in Austria. On both occasions, Hamilton was penalised as the guilty party.

Red Bull Qualifying Head-to-Head

Verstappen Albon
Qualifying 7 0
Races 6 1
Points 110 48
Drivers' Championship 2nd 4th

Verstappen vs Albon: F1 2020 races

Verstappen Albon
Austria DNF 13
Styria 3 4
Hungary 2 5
Great Britain 2 8
70th Anniversary 1 5
Spain 2 8
Belgium 3 6

Horner then spoke glowingly about his young driver, who was an encouraging third in Monza first practice.

Also See:

"Alex is getting stronger, he's improving," said the team principal. "The car is tricky this year, I think it's been a little bit trickier than last year. But he's getting to grips with it, and I think his performance on race days, his race craft, his progress through the field, has always been very very strong.

"If we can give him a better car, as I think we did in Saturday in Spa, then I think he'll only benefit from that in the remaining races."

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Red Bull's Alex Albon is refusing to make excuses for his performances this season and claims he won't listen to Lewis Hamilton's criticism of him.

He added: "Alex has really impressed me with his ability to brush himself down and bounce back. If he's had a bad Saturday then he's come back and driven incredibly well on a Sunday. So he's got that mental resillience, and he's got that racecraft.

"We've seen him perform very well under huge pressure. I think that's a key characteristic and I think the rest will come for him as we improve the car - he will benefit from that.

"He works incredibly hard, he's got a very good understanding of what he's doing and what the car is doing, and where he needs to improve."

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Red Bull's Christian Horner spoke to Simon Lazenby and Martin Brundle on the Williams legacy in Formula 1.

Albon doesn't yet have a contract with Red Bull for 2021, and Pierre Gasly - the man Albon replaced last year - has been putting in some sparkling performances for AlphaTauri to suggest he could be in the running for the seat.

Gasly told Sky F1 he hopes for a "reward" from his strong drives, although Red Bull continue to back Albon and the British-born Thai is therefore the big favourite to partner Verstappen again next year.

"I'm not here to make excuses obviously," Albon, who qualified fifth at the Belgian GP but finished sixth behind both Renaults, said on Thursday. "But at least Spa wasn't a bad weekend.

"I want more, I'm the hardest person on myself. I know the hard work happens between myself and the team, but it's just a work in progress.

"I won't listen to what Lewis has to say, but I know it's the hard work at the factory and over here that's going to make the difference."

Around Sky