“It's one of the OG's”: Alex Albon points the drawbacks of excessive street races
Williams driver Alex Albon believes the sport should refrain from filling the calendar up with street circuits.
The Thai-British driver prefers older street circuits such as Monaco and Albert Park compared to newer ones such as Miami and Jeddah.
F1's current push for street circuits has seen considerable scrutiny from drivers like Max Verstappen and others. Albon is the latest member to join the list of drivers who prefer older tracks.
However, the Williams driver is a huge fan of the upcoming track at Albert Park, where the sport will head this weekend. The driver finished P10 in last year's race after a brilliant stint towards the end of the race.
Speaking about his preferences ahead of the 2023 Australian GP at a Williams pop-up event, Alex Albon said:
"I have no problem with racing at street tracks - I enjoy them! But I think we shouldn't oversaturate it and make it too many street tracks in the calendar. It's fun and fine when we have the old street tracks."
"Melbourne has changed a bit after a couple of years, but it's still a good circuit and has the character from before, but then you go to Monaco, which of course is special. Then it's more the fact that the new circuits are all designed by the same people or same design."
Alex Albon an "unsung hero" in Max Verstappen's 2021 title fight, says Christian Horner
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner expressed admiration for Alex Albon's contributions to the team's success in 2021. Albon collaborated extensively with Max Verstappen, providing valuable support by analyzing simulator data ahead of important Grand Prix races.
Horner said (via Motorsport Week):
“Alex is an absolutely an unsung hero of this season, the hours that he’s put in, behind the scenes, in the dark simulator room, in the bowels of the factory late on a Friday evening, supporting the race drivers, assisting them, he’s done an unbelievable job.”
Alex Albon was also instrumental in helping rookie driver Yuki Tsunoda get up to speed in the highly competitive world of F1. The young Japanese driver made his debut for Red Bull's sister team AlphaTauri in 2021 and showed serious potential towards the end of the season despite getting off to a shaky start.
Christian Horner praised Alex Albon for his mentoring abilities, despite him being only 26 years old. He said:
“He’s also acted as a driver coach in the second half of the season to Yuki [Tsunoda], who’s made real progress, and we’ll be sad to see Alex go but we’re delighted he’s got a seat in Formula 1 next year and we’ll be rooting for him next season.”
It will be interesting to see how Alex Albon performs in Australia this time around.