Home Popular Ricciardo curse emerges in cold Red Bull execution for axed star

Ricciardo curse emerges in cold Red Bull execution for axed star

Red Bull has reportedly made the brutal decision to axe Thai driver Alex Albon at the eleventh hour in a dramatic move to snap up Racing Point discard Sergio Perez.

The decision follows an excruciatingly drawn out decision which left Albon with the guillotine hanging over his head for the second half of the season.

Red Bull failed to guarantee his survival after he failed to keep up with star teammate Max Verstappen.

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Now the messy situation has reached its bloody conclusion with Albon left out in the cold.

The late decision wipes him out for the 2021 F1 season with teams having already locked in their driver pairings for next year.

The bombshell news was first reported by Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, while German website Speedweek, part of the Red Bull media house portfolio, also reported the big news.

Even Red Bull’s junior team Alpha Tauri (formerly Toro Rosso) has no vacancy for Albon and reports on Friday morning (AEDT) claimed he will be forced to accept a position as Red Bull’s third driver.

RELATED: Daniel Ricciardo gives McLaren $325m reasons to smile

The sad end highlight’s Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo curse, with the team failing to find a viable replacement since he announced his dramatic move to Renault for the start of the 2019 season.

Pierre Gasly was promoted to Ricciardo’s seat when he left the team, but was given the chop in the middle of the year when Albon was given the position ahead of Daniil Kvyat.

Albon was never comfortable in Ricciardo’s former seat — just like Gasly.

Red Bull’s decision to make such a dramatic call on Albon shows how big the problem is for a team that has always had such a proud history of promoting from within.

Not this time.

The anguish for Albon is unbridled joy for Perez.

The Mexican star was forced out of Racing Point, told he was unwanted in 2021, and looked to be on the scrap heap until Friday.

His misery at being booted as a result of the team’s decision to sign Sebastian Vettel was there for all to see during an emotional moment when Perez consoled his chief engineer after suffering a DNF in his final ever race for Racing Point at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The heartbreaking scene came a week after Perez won his first ever grand prix — in his 190th attempt — at the Sakhir GP in Bahrain. That drought-breaking achievement catapulted him into fourth in the drivers’ standings, where he finished behind Verstappen and ahead of Ricciardo.

He was full of emotion as he left the Racing Point garage.

“I’m really sad that my final race with the team ended so early,” Perez said. “I really wanted to sign off with a strong race for everyone in the team.

“Some of them were crying at the end.”

Now he will have to face them as combatants in 2021.

That is more than Albon can say.

He has simply had the rug pulled out from under him and must now endure the slight of being Perez’s stand-in knowing full well the team around him had lost their faith in him.

Alpha Tauri had already announced Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda would drive for the team in 2021 after promoting the Japanese academy driver following an impressive season in F2.

Red Bull is desperately hoping they finally have a replacement for Ricciardo, someone who can push Verstappen.

It would have left a bitter taste in the mouths of Red Bull’s Christian Horner that it was Ricciardo who denied Verstappen his grand slam when the Aussie star stole the fastest lap off Verstappen by 0.032 of a second on his very last run around the circuit at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

A Grand Slam is when a driver takes pole, the win, leads every lap of the race and claims the fastest lap.

Verstappen could have become part of a select group of 24 drivers to achieve the feat.

While Red Bull has clearly missed Ricciardo, it has been no picnic for the 31-year-old, who at-times must have missed the Red Bull garage during Renaults abysmal run of technical failures.

However, Ricciardo leaves Renault with his reputation as an elite Formula 1 driver very much intact.

After a season where Ricciardo’s 119-point tally personally outpointed Renault’s entire 2019 haul of 91 points, the 31-year-old is heading to McLaren, who wrapped up third place in the constructors’ standings.

Ricciardo did most of the heavy lifting for Renault in 2020, nearly doubling teammate Esteban Ocon’s points, but signed with McLaren for 2021 just as he started to find his groove in yellow and black.

Now it is Renault’s turn to try to fill the void left behind by the Aussie star.

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