Alexander Albon says his focus lies with avoiding expectations and pressure following his mid-season move up to Red Bull in 2019 as he bids to secure a full-time seat with the team year.

Albon was promoted from Toro Rosso into Red Bull’s senior team just 12 races into his F1 career as a replacement for the struggling Pierre Gasly, making his debut at the Belgian Grand Prix.

Albon’s swift rise into a Red Bull seat came as part of the team’s considerations for Max Verstappen’s teammate in 2020, but the Anglo-Thai racer made an impressive start by finishing fifth on debut, followed by a run to sixth in Italy one week later.

Speaking on F1’s official Beyond the Grid podcast, Albon said there had been no pressure or expectations from Red Bull to match grand prix winner Verstappen from day one, with the focus instead being on getting up to speed with the new team and car.

“I haven’t had a list to do this, do that, be here, be there,” Albon said. “Of course we want to take the fight to Ferrari and Mercedes, that’s quite clear. The main thing right now has been just trying to get up to speed and not put pressure on yourself and put expectations on yourself, so early in your time with Red Bull.

“That has really been the focus, and really what Christian [Horner] and Dr. [Helmut] Marko have been saying: Max is where he is because he knows the team, he knows everything about it, so don’t expect to be fighting with him straight away.

“It will take time. And I do believe that as well, that’s how I see it. In terms of what I have to do, I don’t know, truthfully. I just want to perform at my best, see how I do, and I know I don’t have experience like other people. I do know I’m going to get better.

“It’s just about giving myself that time and not stressing exactly that very thing of not putting targets on myself, and just letting the natural evolution occur.

“If that’s fighting for podiums at the end of the year, that’s great, but I’m not putting myself in that situation.”



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