Max Verstappen dismisses Alex Albon claim that excused his poor performance

Max Verstappen has dismissed the claim ahead of the 2023 season getting underway in Bahrain this weekend.

Max Verstappen and Alex Albon in Bahrain 2019.v1

Alex Albon’s time with Red Bull did unfortunately not live up to expectations, with the Thai driver lasting just over a season next to Max Verstappen.

The 26-year-old experienced the same problem as the man he replaced, Pierre Gasly, with both drivers struggling to live up to the extraordinarily high standards set by Verstappen.

Albon was demoted to Red Bull’s test driver in 2021 and now finds himself back on the grid with Williams, having worked hard to get back onto the grid during his year away.

When discussing where it all went wrong for him at Red Bull in a recent interview with The Player’s Tribune, Albon suggested that Red Bull tailor their cars to suit Verstappen, making it very difficult for the Dutchman’s teammates to match him.

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“This isn’t to throw shade at anyone at Red Bull Racing or Max or anything, honestly,” he said.

“But the car is set up in a unique way that is built around the lead driver, and that’s Max. And look, I totally get why.

“I mean, when all is said and done, he might be the greatest driver of all time. But he has a very distinct style of driving, and he likes the car set up in a certain way that’s hard for a lot of drivers to sync up with.

“Of course, you can tinker and tweak your own car, but just the Red Bull, in general, is suited to Max’s style.”

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Verstappen has been quick to reject his former teammate’s claims, claimed that even he was forced to adapt to the characteristics of the Red Bull cars.

“I don’t think it’s necessarily just suited to my driving style,” said the 25-year-old.

“As a driver, you have to adapt to what you get, and that’s also what I thought when I joined Red Bull because the car was always like that.

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“It had a good front end, but I have never experienced a fast car which has understeer in my life, in any category.”

Albon’s replacement at Red Bull, Sergio Perez, has also struggled to compete with Verstappen, often having to play the wingman role during his time with the team.

The simple thing is, there are not many drivers in history quicker than Verstappen, making it almost impossible for a teammate to match him, regardless of the car’s set up and characteristics.