Alexander Albon doesn't believe the lateness in Red Bull’s decision to drop him cost him a shot of moving to another team for the 2021 Formula 1 season. 

After a turbulent 2020 campaign, Albon was dropped in favour of Sergio Perez following the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in December.

Red Bull maintained its stance of deciding Albon’s future at the end of the season to give the Thai driver the best opportunity to showcase his talent.

While Albon was still some way off the pace of teammate Max Verstappen, he finished third in Bahrain and ran Lewis Hamilton close for third in Abu Dhabi.

Reflecting on Red Bull’s decision to demote him to reserve driver after the final race in Abu Dhabi, Albon doesn’t think it hampered his chances of securing a seat elsewhere on the grid.

“I don’t think it would have changed too much. I mean the team was late because the choice was late as well. It was to see how things would progress and truthfully things were going better but obviously it was still a bit too late,” Albon said. “I think my best race of the year was in Abu Dhabi. I feel like I am improving and no, I don’t think it would have opened up any more doors.”

Looking back at 2020, while Albon concedes the results weren't always there, he feels he was improving throughout after initially struggling to get to grips with the RB16.

“Firstly, I was slightly down on experience – that’s one thing I can say,” Albon added. “It felt like during the year, working with my engineer, we were just getting an understanding of what needed to be done to get the performance out of it. That was just an ongoing process. It felt like things were definitely clicking, more and more towards the end of the year – maybe some results weren’t great but the general path was improvement.

“As I said, I won’t be in the car as much this year but what I can do is learn. I will be at the track every race so I can at least understand from an engineering side of it how the team operate on a more in-depth scale, but it was also just about being on top of the car. It wasn’t an easy car last year, and part of me knows for a fact that if I could have been more comfortable with it, the performance would have been much stronger. It’s kind of what I’m doing right now, for this RB16B, it is about making the car better. That’s been a lot of the stuff I’ve been doing over the winter.”