Filipe Albuquerque was the special guest of another F1 Eleven 1: 1, having been live on ELEVEN SPORTS Instagram. Throughout the program, the 35-year-old Portuguese driver spoke about his career, the sport and the possibility of the F1 GP taking place in Portimão.
Over more than 45 minutes, Filipe Albuquerque, currently a development and test pilot for the DS Techeetah – Formula E Team, spoke about his career, the sport and the possibility of the F1 GP taking place in Portugal. The Portuguese driver also participates in the World Endurance Championship, the European Le Mans Series and the North American Resistance Cup.
Regarding his more than 20 years of career, the pilot says that: “It’s been over 20 years of career, but what is certain is that a person doesn’t even realize why I’m doing what I like”.
Regarding the fact that he was part of the Red Bull ranks between 2005 and 2008, Filipe Albuquerque states that: “When I signed the contract with Red Bull in 2005 I already said F1 there and therefore Helmut Marko always said that he was not interested in excuses, I wish it was Monday morning when I arrived at the office to see the pilots in the first 3, that’s fine. If we were further down it didn’t interest him”.
He confesses that: “He put me in very high responsibilities of winning and going to the podium, even when I was a rookie, and it was always like that demanding a lot from me, but I always achieved the results”. “He told me one day that he had just had a meeting with Gerhard Berger who was at the time at Toro Rosso and that they had agreed that Toro Rosso was exclusively for Red Bull Junior Team drivers, so it only depends on F1 from you”. “Helmut Marko is very direct in what he says and things are black and white, there is no” neem “or middle ground”.
When asked about the political events at the Red Bull Junior Team, Filipe states that: “There was a very strange phase, when I won the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 in 2006, the war to climb to GP2 within Red Bull was between me and Zaugg. They bet on it for GP2 and I went to World Series 3.5. It was a political decision”.
He adds: “They had an option for me to go to F1, but the way they wanted me to get there was very strange. I wanted to repeat the World Series to try to win and for them that was not on the table, they wanted to send me to Formula Nippon in Japan ”. “If they really wanted to bet 100% they would do as they did as Vettel, but at the time they had a contract with Liuzzi and Scott Speed, things did not happen…”
About Formula Nippon, Filipe Albuquerque says that: “Formula Nippon at the time was for drivers who had not been successful in Europe and were going to Japan to make a career, but it was a one way ticket with no return, they never returned”.
About F1, the driver says: “In F1 you have to have the right moment, the right opportunity, the right policy to get there. Today I am grown up to think that I deserved to have reached F1, it didn’t happen, it didn’t depend on me … It’s funny because a few years later it was exactly the same with António Félix da Costa. My luck was to have been with Pedro and Nuno Couceiro, who they (Red Bull) said they were going to leave me in the desert without water and they told me to go get something else, because if Red Bull really wanted to put me in F1”. “Red Bull, after all, helped me a lot, I tested Formula 1 a lot and it helped a lot in my future, for example at Audi when I rode the R15 for the first time I was not intimidated”.
Regarding the start of the F1 season this weekend, Filipe Albuquerque states that: “We will be waiting for a good fight between Mercedes, Ferrari and also Red Bull that takes a new Honda engine this weekend. . If the situation at Honda and Red Bull goes well, I’m not surprised that Red Bull will be world champion in the coming years and that it will stay”.
When asked about Sainz at Ferrari in 2021, the driver states that: “Carlitos is very hardworking, I have seen him evolve a lot in F1, very methodical and his father must instill this way of working a lot. I think it will take some time to adapt to Ferrari’s car style at the beginning but I think Ferrari will have a spectacular duo”.
As for the possibility of the GP taking place in Portimão this year, the driver confesses that: “F1 needs us, we handled the quarantine very well, but also the spectacular conditions that we have at the Autódromo do Algarve. The Algarve is above many tracks that are in the F1 championship. It will be the ex libris to have F1 in Portimão and the credit goes to Paulo Pinheiro, for being “crazy”, because really a person who thinks outside the box and thinks big to have a race track in Portimão and the great ideas come of these great people”.
Still on Paulo Pinheiro, the driver adds: “Paulo is more than to be congratulated, I have no doubt that it will happen, we are going to have an F1 race in Portimão, unless it happens there must be something very strong behind it.”