Alex Albon reveals if he blames Lewis Hamilton for Red Bull firing him

Alex Albon insists that his Red Bull exit was in no part Sir Lewis Hamilton's fault.

Williams driver Alex Albon does not blame Sir Lewis Hamilton for the trajectory of his Formula 1 career after the 37-year-old twice took the Thai-Briton out of podium contention while he was driving from Red Bull.

Albon was promoted to Red Bull from Toro Rosso in 2019 to replace Pierre Gasly, and looked set to complete a one-two for Red Bull behind Max Verstappen at the Brazilian Grand Prix before Hamilton attempted an audacious move down the inside, sending him down to the back of the order.

Two races later in the 2020 Austrian Grand Prix, Albon was aiming to capitalise on his fresh Softs compared to the old Hards Valtteri Bottas and Hamilton were running on, but as he tried to go round the outside at Turn Four, Hamilton tagged him again, and put him out of the race.

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Understandably frustrated, the now 26-year-old called the seven-time champion a “sore loser,” but the pair were able to joke about it when Albon achieved his first career podium at the Tuscan Grand Prix later that year.

“It was nice to finally get that podium,” said Albon after finishing third behind Hamilton and Bottas.

“Sorry about that,” was Hamilton’s amusing response.

Throughout the year though, the now Williams man achieved an average finish of seventh in the races that he saw the chequered flag, and ended the championship seventh too, four positions and 109 points adrift of team-mate Verstappen who won two races.

Much like Gasly before him, there was an abundance of pressure on Albon throughout the year, but he maintains that he was not doing the bad job that was being painted out.

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“I do remember in one of the races I was getting bashed like ‘where’s your performance?’ and I was like ‘Hold on a minute, it wasn’t even that bad, everyone chill out a bit,’” he said on the Beyond the Grid Podcast.

Max Verstappen and Alex Albon in Bahrain 2019.v1

The 26-time points finisher was ultimately dropped at the end of 2020, and spent last year racing in DTM with AlphaTauri in the AF Corse car, claiming a race win and four podiums as he ended the championship sixth.

Albon admits that a win would have settled the nerves, and affirms that the pressure applied to him from the start of the 2020 season was an onerous weight on his shoulders.

“I think a result would have quietened everything down,” he added.

“I would have had the next six, seven races with a bit less of that noise because the noise started from the very first race of the year it was there. It was quite intense.”

After the 103-time race winner cost him two podiums and maybe even a race win, one might forgive Albon for pinning some of the blame on Hamilton, but he takes full responsibility for the fact that, over the course of his Red Bull career, his results were not quite enough to keep him at the Milton Keynes side.

“I would never, never blame Lewis for what’s happened to me. It’s all on me,” he explained.

“It’s just one of those things. He apologised and honestly, I look at the Brazil one and think I could have done my part in avoiding a crash in some places. I always look at crashes between drivers and it’s never 100-0, there’s always a little bit of give and take in most of these incidents.”

In a tongue in cheek comment though, he still puts the blame on Hamilton for the crash in Spielberg two seasons ago.

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“The Austria one, though, I do think is his fault, for the record,” he said.

Albon’s return to Formula 1 with Williams has yielded a points finish at the Australian Grand Prix, but the underperforming car has made it difficult to consistently challenge for the top 10.