Russell 'sure' Albon will make quick F1 return despite DTM switch

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George Russell is sure Alex Albon will return to the Formula 1 grid "in the near future".

The Thai driver was dropped by Red Bull and replaced with Sergio Perez after struggling to perform alongside Max Verstappen last season.

Russell though defended Albon's performance, even questioning the treatment he was getting by Red Bull, and expects his absence from F1 to only be a short one.

“I’m in contact with Alex all the time, he is one of my closest mates,” the Williams driver told

“Alex is a great driver who had a very tough time at Red Bull for a number of reasons. But he’ll be back in F1 I’m sure in the near future.”

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This year, Albon is staying sharp by competing in DTM and recently participated in his first pre-season test in an AlphaTauri-liveried Ferrari.

But he doubts a good performance in the German series will have a big impact on his F1 future.

“To be honest, not so much. In my role, it’s more about doing my job the best I can in the championship itself,” he said.

“A lot of the Formula 1 stuff is probably a little more down to how other drivers are performing and whether there are opportunities on that side of things.

“My role also in the reserve driver, simulator duties and testing, that’s a much bigger role [in getting back to F1].”

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Russell also downplayed the significance of Albon's results in DTM because of the very different set of skills needed in sportscars. 

“DTM is an incredibly tough championship,” he said.

“It is very different to Formula 1 and those guys are top of their game in what they do so he’s actually got quite a tough challenge on his hands because he’s having to learn a new discipline.

“It’s almost like asking Roger Federer to go play badminton or squash. It’s still a racket and a ball, but it’s completely different. I’m sure he’ll do well but he’s got a very tough challenge on his hands.”