British-born Thai racer Alexander Albon said on Monday Formula One remained his priority and he was determined to bounce back after being dropped to a reserve role by Red Bull for 2021.
The 24-year-old has been replaced by experienced Mexican Sergio Perez alongside Max Verstappen after being outperformed by the young Dutchman last year.
Speaking to reporters by Zoom, Albon said he had overcome similar setbacks in the past. “I have been dropped before, it’s not been the first time,” he said. “What I learnt was, how much do you want it? I want it more than I would say anyone on the grid. With that comes a lot of determination.
“I won’t stop at any point so for me it’s just about putting my head down. I got through it before, I’ve been able to get to where I am because of all the hard work I have done. And I want that seat back.”
Albon was also dropped by Red Bull as a junior driver in 2012 but came back into the fold when he joined Toro Rosso, now AlphaTauri, at the end of 2018 after finishing third in the Formula Two championship.
Perez, 31, was preferred for this year as Red Bull decided they needed an experienced driver to help the team mount a stronger challenge to champions Mercedes.
Albon, who will attend races in his reserve role and also compete in the DTM (German Touring Car championship), said there was no point feeling sorry for himself.
“It hasn’t been all that bleak. There haven’t been any violins in the background,” he said. “I’m confident in myself, I know I can bounce back.
“The team know what I’m capable of. They would have gotten rid of me if they didn’t believe in me. They still trust me, they still have faith in what I can do.”