Red Bull doesn’t need two Verstappens, but it desperately needs a second driver that it’s confident will be sat poised in a close fourth at worst, ready to get involved in the chess match.
It is almost certain that Alexander Albon will be able to leave Red Bull Racing at the end of 2020.
Albon suddenly entered Formula 1 in 2019. Toro Rosso was looking for another driver and Helmut Marko ended up in the number three of Formula 2, who had just signed a contract for Nissan in Formula E. However, Albon did not succeed in returning to Red Bull and was even promoted to Red Bull Racing after six months.
However, this promotion is now going to cost Albon dearly, as his performance has not been good enough and now he will probably disappear from Formula 1 altogether.
THE LAST CHANCE WILL BE IN ABU DHABI
Red Bull will give Alex Albon until the final lap of the season to “prove his worth” before deciding its 2021 line up.
For a team with a reputation for being harsh on drivers, Red Bull are giving Albon every single opportunity possible to secure his future even in the face of constant criticism from the outside.
Sitting ninth in the Drivers’ standings on 64 points, just one ahead of the man he replaced last season, Pierre Gasly, Albon has yet to find his feet at Red Bull.
The Thai-British driver’s performances have left the team as a one-driver operation fighting against Mercedes.
As such Mercedes has already wrapped up the Constructors’ Championship, doing so with four races to spare, as the team took a 253-point lead at Imola.
That was a Sunday in which Red Bull failed to score a single point, Max Verstappen retiring when his RB16 blew a tyre while Albon was stone last having spun at the restart after a Safety Car period.
But while pundits reckon that was the last straw for Albon, Red Bull advisor Marko has given him yet another lifeline.
“Even after Imola, we will not make any decisions on Albon,” he told motorsport-total.com.
“We will give him a little more time.
“He even has Abu Dhabi to prove his worth and then we will make an internal decision on whether to follow or look for someone from outside.
“But there are many drivers in the market, so we will not be rushed.”
The two drivers leading the running to replace Albon are Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg.
While Perez brings with him the ability to finish races on the podium, something Hulkenberg has yet to do, the German is a good friend of Verstappen’s with the Dutchman reportedly wanting him in the race seat.
Albon isn’t paying any attention to the rumours.
“Of course I’m hanging in there, I’m doing everything I can. It was, in retrospect, not a bad weekend for me. But we’ll focus ahead on Turkey,” he said.
RED BULL GIVE DEADLINE TO ALBON “SAVE HIS SEAT” RED BULL GIVE DEADLINE TO ALBON “SAVE HIS SEAT”
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F1 2020 NEXT RACE
|12:00 - 13:30||Free practice 1|
|16:00 - 17:30||Free practice 2|
|12:00 - 13:00||Free practice 3|
|15:10 - 17:10||Race|