Albers about the driver policy at Red Bull: ‘I don’t understand the fear of this choice’

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Albers about the driver policy at Red Bull: 'I don't understand the fear of this choice'

In 2024, all drivers will again drive for the same team as at the end of 2023. This has caused disappointment and frustration among many Formula 1 followers. Former team owner Eddie Jordan even called it a shame. As far as Christijan Albers is concerned, it won’t be long before we see a driver change.

Albers has been advocating for the arrival of Liam Lawson for some time now. The New Zealander made his debut in 2023 as a replacement for Daniel Ricciardo, and given the disappointing performance of the 34-year-old driver, rumors are becoming increasingly serious for the same driver change in 2024, this time permanently. In New Zealand there is even talk that Ricciardo has received an ultimatum from Helmut Marko, and in Japan and China he must prove that he deserves a place in the team.

Lawson deserves his spot

As far as Albers is concerned, that driver change cannot come soon enough. ‘I don’t understand what the fear is about this choice. I just don’t understand it,” Albers shares his frustrations in the De Telegraaf podcast. “Let’s be honest: Lawson beat Yuki Tsunoda in those few races. And Tsunoda has consistently been stronger than Nyck de Vries and Daniel Ricciardo. I don’t see that going well with Ricciardo. He just doesn’t have it anymore,” said the former driver.

Ricciardo already had two difficult years at McLaren in 2021 and 2022, and returned to Red Bull Racing in 2023 as the third driver. The Australian quickly increased the pressure on De Vries last year, and after a test in Silverstone, in which Ricciardo even spun, he was quickly offered the Dutchman’s seat, with Red Bull team boss indicating that the eight-time race winner could be an option for the main team for 2025.

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lawson verstappen redbull
Liam Lawson is active as a reserve driver this year.

However, expectations have not yet been met by Ricciardo, except for seventh place in Mexico. Albers is now quite done with Max Verstappen’s old teammate. ‘What irritates me a little bit is that he keeps laughing and doing activities around driving. Just focus on the racing. Only then can you start being funny again,” is the analyst’s advice. ‘As a driver you want to go into hiding until you have beaten the rest, and then you can show yourself again. With him it is the other way around. All those activities are just painful.’

Ricciardo breaks the trend

With his experience and age, Ricciardo is the odd one out at Visa Cash App RB. ‘He just has to make sure he beats the others. I just don’t think it’s fair. You have a Lawson, who has performed fantastically. He just needs to be given a chance, and he doesn’t get one. The whole purpose of the team is to train and promote young talent.’ In addition to Lawson, Red Bull also has several other great talents, including Formula 2 drivers Isack Hadjar and Pepe Martí, and 16-year-old Arvid Lindblad in Formula 3.

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