Albon was dropped by senior Red Bull squad over the winter for failing to always match teammate Max Verstappen in 2020, with ex-Racing Point driver Sergio Perez hired to replace him.
Unlike his predecessors Daniil Kvyat and Pierre Gasly, who were placed in Toro Rosso’s squad following their demotion from Red Bull Racing, Albon has yet to have a second F1 opportunity on what is now AlphaTauri. .
Instead, the Thai driver will compete in selected rounds of the new DTM series in a Ferrari 488 GT3 driven by AF Corse in 2021 while remaining in F1 as a reserve / test driver for the Red Bull and AlphaTauri teams. .
The 25-year-old got his first real taste of a GT3 car earlier this month at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit, before getting down to running under his belt in the official pre-season test at Hockenheim this month. week.
While success in DTM would bolster his profile, Albon insists that the main goal of his program is to stay in shape, and he doesn’t see the series as a way back to Grand Prix racing.
MORE: How Albon Plans To Fight Out Of Red Bull Limbo
Asked by Autosport how he can use his DTM racing outings to win an F1 comeback in 2022, Albon said: “To be honest, not so much. On my role it’s more about doing my job to the best of my ability in the championship itself.
“A lot of Formula 1 probably depends a bit more on the performance of other drivers and whether there are opportunities there. But yes, there is not much requirement here.
“Much depends on how it works with BoP [in the DTM]. As long as I do my job on my own … Of course, my role also in the reserve pilot, the simulator tasks and the tests, it is a much more important role [in getting back to F1]. “
Alex Albon, AF Corse, Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo
Photo by: DTM
Albon will be one of three former Grand Prix drivers on the 2021 DTM grid alongside Timo Glock (Rowe Racing BMW) and former Red Bull driver Christian Klien, the latter in a partial season in a McLaren with JP Motorsport.
When asked if he considers sports car racing a viable long-term option, Albon said: “Seriously [speaking], not really. I mean it’s good for now. It keeps me fit, it keeps me fit, if you can call it.
“But I still want [be in F1]. If F1 wasn’t working, then some sort of … we’ll see. It’s definitely not something I would 100% say no to. “
Albon explained that he had to readjust his braking points for the GT3 machines, admitting that his past experience in F1 meant he had overdrive the Ferrari.
“GT racing in general is different,” said the 25-year-old. “Snape Water is definitely not as flat as I thought it would be. But it’s a learning curve.
“I like it, it’s a different challenge and a completely different driving style. For starters, a lot of it was overdrive because you kind of have this muscle memory of how to make certain turns and drive, and it’s almost like restarting that process.
“But at the end of the day, it’s a car. It has a steering wheel, pedals and you can adapt to it pretty quickly. Things are going well.
“Of course there is still time on the table to figure out how to handle it. But no, I like it.