A first double-podium finish since 2017 is a huge boost for Red Bull. If nothing else because it probably gives the team the justification needed to keep Alex Albon on for another season.
To be frank, Albon didn’t earn his second podium of the year. It took Valtteri Bottas and Sergio Perez to be removed for it to happen.
There have been small shoots of recovery from Albon and to have evidence of that is important to Red Bull.
It wants to keep Albon, and it doesn’t matter whether it’s because of the faith it has in him as a driver or the commercial benefit of having a Thai racer given the roots Red Bull has in Thailand.
Albon’s pace still needs to improve for Red Bull to have a top driver line-up. But races like these are closer to what a team like Red Bull must be producing.
Red Bull says it will not be making a decision on Alexander Albon’s future with the team until after next month’s season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Albon stepped up to Red Bull mid-2019 but has yet to out-qualify team-mate Max Verstappen this season and has often struggled in race trim compared to the Dutchman.
Albon joined Verstappen on the podium in Bahrain, taking his second top-three finish in Formula 1, though was set to take fourth until Sergio Perez’s late retirement.
Perez has already outlined that he will take a sabbatical from motorsport if he does not secure the Red Bull seat.
“No decisions will be made until after the final race,” Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner said after the race in Bahrain.
“Alex, we’re giving him every opportunity. We want him to succeed, I think we were clear with that all along, and days like [Sunday] help him but there’s two further races.
“Sergio is doing the best job that he can to ensure that he remains under consideration.”
Commenting on the race, Horner said: “Alex drove a good race. Sergio was unlucky, Alex benefitted from his misfortune, and that’s what we’re needing to see from Alex.
“His recovery from Friday was strong, obviously after the off that he had, he qualified fourth and was there to capitalise on Sergio’s misfortune.
“He’s finished on the podium, it’s our first double podium since Japan 2017, it’s our first podium in Bahrain since 2013, so I think it was a good day for Alex.”
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2021 MONTE CARLO RALLY DAY 3 – OGIER LEADER
THE NEXT RACE 2021
|02:00 - 03:30||Free practice 1|
|06:00 - 07:30||Free practice 2|
|04:00 - 05:00||Free practice 3|
|07:00 - 07:18||Qualifying|
|06:10 - 08:10||Race|