McLaren F1 driver Lando Norris has said he feels “sorry” for Alex Albon, who lost his seat at Red Bull to Sergio Perez in December.
Speaking at a press conference attended by Formula1News.co.uk on Monday afternoon, ahead of McLaren’s 2021 car launch, Norris described F1 as a “very unfair world” but tipped Albon to fight his way back.
“Formula 1 can be a very hard world and we’re seeing that again,” Norris said.
“It’s difficult because I’m good friends with Alex. We get along well and have always had good conversations, although we haven’t actually talked much about Red Bull.
“I’m sorry for him, he’s a very good driver. It’s hard, it just goes to show again how hard Formula 1 can be. It can even happen to an extremely good driver.
“He beat everyone in all the junior categories, but once you’re in Formula 1 it’s all different, just a bit more competitive. It can be a very unfair world.
“You can lose your spot just like that and it’s all over as quickly as it started.”
Continuing, the British driver, now entering his third season with McLaren, said: “I don’t know what to say about it.
“I like Alex and have a lot of respect for him. It’s a shame he lost his seat but I’m sure he’s going to do everything he can to fight back and get back into F1.”
On 18 December, Red Bull announced that they had signed Sergio Perez to partner Max Verstappen for 2021, with Albon becoming their reserve and test driver.
This came around six weeks after a Red Bull source told Formula1News.co.uk that they had decided to drop Albon and he would only be on the grid in 2021 if Yuki Tsunoda failed to get a Super Licence.
In addition to his reserve and test driver duties at Red Bull, Albon will compete in DTM races this year which don’t clash with his other commitments.