Red Bull’s boss and team principal Christian Horner said he was looking at other driver options for the team’s driver line-up for the 2021 Formula 1 season.
Max Verstappen is the leading driver who is firmly under contract with the team as he continues to impress with pure talent on the track, on the other hand his teammate Alexander Albon has been struggling to keep up with the ‘flying dutchman’ although he managed to get the fourth pole behind his teammate in Saturday’s qualifying session.
“We know that he is quick when everything goes normally,” said Dr Helmut Marko, the architect of Red Bull’s driver program.
“I hope that all of the talk will finally be quiet now. As long as Alex continues to develop and he meets our expectations, he is our candidate.”
The same scenario happened to Pierre Gasly last season as he was dropped from Red Bull Racing team back to the junior team AlphaTauri after being unable to match up to Max Verstappen.
The talks will continue going on as there are strong drivers such as Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez in the driver market and Dr Helmut Marko insisted that Alexander Albon was still their candidate as he continued to develop and meet the team’s expectations.
“There are a couple of strong drivers on the market… Nico Hulkenberg too.” Christian Horner said
“But our priority is Alex,” he insisted. “It’s part of my job to know what other options are available, but we are determined to support Alex in realising his potential.”
As for the practice at Mugello circuit Verstappen was happy to shave off a few tenths of a second within the leading Mercedes W11 after the ‘party mode’ was banned.
“In the end, Mercedes turned up the power in qualifying but it was nowhere near as blatant as when the party mode was available,” said Marko.
“I expect it to be a lot closer in the race. We should definitely have a chance.”