Alexander Albon is expecting 2020 to be “a bit more normal” as he continues to bed in with Red Bull following his shock mid-season switch to the team over the summer.

Albon was promoted into Red Bull’s senior F1 operation just 12 races into his career in place of the struggling Pierre Gasly, with his performances through the remainder of the season doing enough to clinch him the drive full-time for 2020 alongside Max Verstappen.

It will mark the first time in Albon’s career that he has not switched teams between seasons, giving the Anglo-Thai racer hope that the stability will aid his push towards the front of the grid.

“I need to be aware of where I am. I’ve only had a year in F1 and less than half a season with the team, but the goal is to close the gap between me and Max,” Albon said.

“We want to start a bit stronger. The guys are already working flat out at the factory, we want to keep the pressure on Mercedes and Ferrari. I’m hoping we’ll come into Melbourne near the front.

“I’m feeling that next year will be a bit more normal. This year was my first year and it definitely wasn’t normal.”

Albon came within two laps of a breakthrough podium finish at the Brazilian Grand Prix in November, only for late contact with Lewis Hamilton to rob him of the result.

Despite being classified out of the points in that race, Albon feels it was proof that he can fight with the front-runners.

“When I look at the weekend as a whole, there are a lot more positives than negatives. Brazil, to some extent, was good. I am proud, but I want more,” Albon said.

“Afterwards I was more disappointed for the team rather than myself. It would’ve been good to get those extra points. But it happens, it’s racing. I was over it by the next morning.

“We had a taster of what could be in Brazil and I want to build on that over the winter so I can be better next year.”

 

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