Albon calm on Red Bull hopes as Norris tips him to challenge Verstappen

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Alex Albon is still keeping a lid on his expectations at Red Bull despite strong praise from McLaren's Lando Norris.

The Thai driver has scored top-six finishes in his first two races since switching from Toro Rosso at Spa, leading teammate Max Verstappen on both occasions.

While that was the result of external factors, a Lap 1 crash for Max in Belgium and then a grid penalty for the Dutchman at Monza, Norris, who raced Albon in Formula 2, was always impressed by him.

"He deserves it, he deserved a chance at least," he said back in Spa.

"He’s done well this season, it’s going to be tough going up against Max, but especially Alex in his first season and everything, it’s quite a progression he’s made quite quickly so I hope it goes well for him.”

Asked if he thought Albon could offer a genuine threat to Verstappen, Lando replied: “Personally I think so, but I also thought Pierre would have.

“I hope he does well. I hope it turns out very well and it goes smoothly and he has a long career in Formula 1 and so on. So I hope the best for him, but Max is a tough driver.

“I kind of feel for Alex in a way that he’s got to go up against someone so tough and so good, as he needs to prove it as well. I wish him all the best and we’ll see how it goes.”

Albon though isn't getting carried away with his immediate aspirations at Red Bull despite the pressure to prove himself worthy of a 2020 seat.

“I haven’t had a list to do this, do that, be here, be there," he told the Beyond the Grid F1 podcast.

“Of course we want to take the fight to Ferrari and Mercedes, that’s quite clear. The main thing right now has been just trying to get up to speed and not put pressure on yourself and put expectations on yourself, so early in your time with Red Bull.

“Really what Christian [Horner] and Dr. [Helmut] Marko have been saying is: 'Max is where he is because he knows the team, he knows everything about it, so don’t expect to be fighting with him straight away'.

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“It will take time and I do believe that as well, that’s how I see it," he added.

"In terms of what I have to do, I don’t know, truthfully. I just want to perform at my best, see how I do, and I know I don’t have the experience like other people. I do know I’m going to get better.

“It’s just about giving myself that time and not stressing exactly that very thing of not putting targets on myself, and just letting the natural evolution occur.

“If that’s fighting for podiums at the end of the year, that’s great, but I’m not putting myself in that situation.”