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Monday, September 20, 2021

Albon looks back: “Verstappen was definitely my toughest opponent”

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Alexander Albon calls Max Verstappen without a doubt the strongest opponent he has raced against.

The Thai driver drove as a teammate of Verstappen at Red Bull Racing last season and therefore knows better than anyone the qualities of the Dutchman, who made a big impression on Albon.

Until last Sunday, Daniel Ricciardo was the last teammate of Verstappen to win a race in Formula 1. The Australian opted to leave Red Bull in 2019 because the team was increasingly built around Verstappen.

Pierre Gasly then struggled to succeed Ricciardo and that resulted in the Frenchman being replaced by Albon. However, in his one and a half-season with the Austrian stable, Albon was also unable to impress much and that is why Red Bull chose Pérez as Verstappen’s teammate this season.

Verstappen strongest opponent of Albon
In conversation with Square Mile, Albon is asked who the strongest opponent in his career was and he does not have to think long about the answer to that question. “The toughest opponent is definitely Max Verstappen.

When you’re on different teams, it’s hard to compare yourself. Obviously, you are faster in some races than in others, but Max as my team-mate was a very fast, very strong and very complete driver and very experienced for someone his age,” said the 25-year-old driver.

Although Albon turned out to be no match for Verstappen’s qualities, the Thai already knew what it was like to have strong competition before his arrival in Formula 1. “I raced against George (Russell, ed.) and Lando (Norris, ed.) in Formula 2 in 2018 and we were all very close to each other. When we went to Formula 1, I got Max as a teammate,” the Red Bull reserve driver recalls.

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