RACE DEBRIEF

    After an up-and-down season and a half with Red Bull in 2019 and 2020, Alex Albon will be fulfilling reserve duties for the team in 2021, as Sergio Perez steps up to partner Max Verstappen. But there will at least be some active racing in Red Bull-affiliated colours for the Thai driver, with Albon set to compete in an AlphaTauri-liveried Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 in the DTM, the German touring car series.

    Albon is set to share the AF Corse-prepared AlphaTauri car with New Zealander Nick Cassidy for the 2021 DTM season, dovetailing outings with his Formula 1 commitments with Red Bull – while alongside the pair, another New Zealander, former F3 competitor Liam Lawson, will drive a second 488, in Red Bull colours, as the Austrian company returns to DTM after two years out of the series.

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    Having spent his whole career racing karts and single-seaters, meanwhile, Albon said he was looking forward to the challenge of getting up to speed with ‘tin tops’ – having only experienced closed cockpit machinery once before, when he drove Mercedes DTM and McLaren GT cars while competing for the 2014 McLaren Autosport BRDC Award.

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    Albon will step away from front-line F1 driving for 2021

    “DTM is a great series with highly talented drivers in the field and exciting racing,” said Albon. “I’ve only driven a ‘tin top’ once… and they’re really different to single seaters. There’s a lot less downforce and the tyres are very different, so it requires a different kind of driving style.

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    “It will take a bit of time to get used to, but I'm looking forward to a new racing challenge when I’m available outside of my existing F1 commitments.”

    The eight-weekend DTM season will be kicking off on Monza on June 18-20 – although it’s yet to be confirmed which rounds Albon will contest.