DTM is set to inherit two Red Bull open-seater racing recruits. Liam Lawson, the P5 finisher in Formula 3’s 2020 season, together with the recent F1 demotee, Alex Albon, will join the series for its 2021 GT3-spec racing debut.
Red Bull have simultaneously given a pat on the back and delivered a slap in the face with the announcement. For the 18-year old Liam Lawson, he is assured of another full season of racing in the Red Bull Junior Team program. For Alex Albon, however, DTM is quite a step down from two seasons of Formula One.
Lawson is expected to be named an F2 driver before the 2021 season kicks off in Bahrain in March. Rather fortuitously for the New Zealander, the DTM calendar and F2 schedule do not overlap. As such, Lawson will be able to contest both championship campaigns in full.
Meanwhile, for Alex Albon, Red Bull will allow him to race when his pre-existing duties for the Formula One team allow. The Anglo-Thai driver remains contracted to Red Bull for reserve, replacement, and simulator duties for 2021.
On one hand, any racing should be appreciated for Albon. The alternative is a year watching Verstappen and Perez race around the world from the garage like a magazine competition winner. On the other hand, DTM is not a stepping stone (back) up to F1.
The news screams the age-old story of “we’re not sure what to do with this driver but we have so much money so we’ll just back him and another driver in an irrelevant racing series to keep him busy”. Oh, you haven’t heard of that classic tale? Look for it next time you’re in the library; it’s next to the lengthy book “Helmut Marko’s collection of broken spirits”.
Red Bull are to give their backing to both men who will compete for an as-of-yet unknown team for 2021. With Liam Lawson racing in all events, but Alex Albon only in some, Lawson now awaits news on who his alternate teammate will be in Germany.