Alex Albon insists he will not give up on his Formula 1 dream as he vows to try and return to the grid in 2022 after losing his Red Bull drive.

The Thai racer has been replaced at Red Bull for 2021 by Sergio Perez after a difficult first full-season at the team, having been comprehensively out-performed by Max Verstappen.

Speaking publicly for the first time since Friday’s announcement, Albon, who will remain at Red Bull as the team’s test and reserve driver next season, admitted the news of his demotion “hurt”.

“I can’t lie guys, it hurts,” Albon wrote on Instagram.

“I gave it everything out there, but it wasn’t quite enough. I want to say a huge thank you to all of you that supported me throughout this year, especially my Thai fans.

“With all the different opinions out there, I always had you guys to push me through it.

“I’m not giving up, I’ve poured my life into this and I won’t let it stop here. I have more to give and my focus is getting back for 2022 and to wave the Thai flag again!”

Red Bull said it had informed both Albon and Perez of their final decision on Friday afternoon prior to the announcement.

Team principal Christian Horner said that Albon will still have an “important” role to play for Red Bull’s development as it looks ahead to the upcoming regulation overhaul in 2022.

“Alex is a valued member of the team and we thought long and hard about this decision," said Horner. "Having taken our time to evaluate all the relevant data and performances we have decided that Sergio is the right driver to partner Max for 2021 and look forward to welcoming him to Red Bull Racing.

“Alex remains an important part of our team as test and reserve Driver with a key focus on 2022 development and we would like to thank him for his hard work and contribution.”

 

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