It’s a daunting task coming into a competitive seat without the experience to fall back upon but for Alex Albon, his promotion into the Red Bull Racing seat means that not only does he have a race winning seat underneath him but he also has one Max Verstappen as a team-mate.

Of course we have been here before with Pierre Gasly in 2019, whose logical porting from Toro Rosso to Red Bull to replace Daniel Ricciardo resulted in a troubled few months as pressure and speculation mounted before the team took the decision to swap him out for Albon.

WATCH: Do we think Alex Albon will retain his Red Bull drive for F1 2021?

Fast forward just over 12 months and it could almost be the same headlines but swapped over, with Albon struggling to get the most from a package that in Verstappen’s hands is a race winner and the only one to (occasionally) penetrate the Mercedes stronghold out front.

While Red Bull has been at pains to play down the prospect of Albon being dropped, it did so previously with Gasly too so there isn’t too much to read into that.

So what’s the argument for and against Albon retaining his Red Bull drive for the 2021 F1 season?

In his favour is the fact there are relatively few options left to replace him with Red Bull probably pausing to reflect on the viability of swapping him back over with Gasly, simply because of what it would represent for the wider brand. 

Also, Albon is still a relative newcomer and has shown flashes of form. His indifferent qualifying often gives rise to some stellar charges back up the order and it feels as though no other driver has overtaken more cars this year. Unlike Gasly, he also has a podium to his name and while some of the driving has been erratic at times, that’s not exclusive to Albon with Verstappen also having his moments with a car that doesn’t always look well sorted.

On the other hand, Gasly is a race winner this year even if his success at Monza errs closer to fortuitous than on outright speed, while Albon’s margin to Verstappen doesn’t seem to be getting smaller.

So what do you think - will Alex Albon retain his Red Bull ride for the 2021 F1 season?

 

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