Red Bull Forced Alex Albon To Be Max Verstappen’s ‘Bridesmaid’

Red Bull favoured Max Verstappen and forced Alex Albon to be his “bridesmaid”, IndyCar team owner Dale Coyne has said.

Albon and Verstappen were team-mates for a season-and-a-half, and over this time the Dutch ace comprehensively outperformed the Thai driver.

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Some people in the F1 paddock have criticised Red Bull for seemingly focussing on Verstappen at the expense of their second drivers.

Commenting on the prospect of Albon competing in IndyCar, Coyne revealed that Romain Grosjean – who currently races with Dale Coyne Racing – is a great salesperson for the series and has been encouraging the former Red Bull driver to give it a go.

“Alex was talking to lots of people,” Coyne told Motorsport.com.

“He’s been on our radar for a while and we’ve been speaking with him for over a year now and he’s interested, for sure.

“Romain is a great salesman for us, showing what we can do as a team, but he’s also the best salesman for IndyCar. Him and Alex talked together for quite a while.

“They talked about how nice it is in the series, how competitive you can be in these cars, what they’re like to drive – natural, instinctive, so you can get on it straight away, like we saw from [Christian] Lundgaard.”

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Continuing, he suggested that Albon played second fiddle to Verstappen at Red Bull.

“Romain was telling him it was fun to be in IndyCar, a lot of less pressure, better relationships between teams, team owners, and between drivers.

“I think Alex appreciates that the teams here aren’t set up to have one guy as number one and the other as the bridesmaid. That’s something Alex has been through, right?

“It’s different here. If your two guys have two different driving styles, you can generally change each car to suit its driver.

“Now, that might hurt a bit if they’re very different [as] their feedback isn’t going to help the other one so much. There’s more work and one driving style and engineering philosophy may suit a track better than the other.

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“But if having them on different setups helps get the best out of each driver individually, then you can do that in IndyCar. We’ve had it that way before, we think we’re pretty good at it and it can work out well.

“So anyway, I think if they’re used to the pressure of Formula 3, 2 and especially Formula 1, drivers find IndyCar a breath of fresh air.

“The hard work is what’s done on track, in the pit lane and in the engineering trailer. There’s not the politicking and pressure,” he added.