Red Bull not ruling out external driver for 2020 line-up

Red Bull will look at drivers outside its own pool for its 2020 Formula 1 line-up if it feels none of the current contenders can “get the job done”.

Red Bull not ruling out external driver for 2020 line-up

Alex Albon has replaced Pierre Gasly at the team from this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix following Gasly’s struggles over the first part of the season.

Gasly has replaced Albon alongside Daniil Kvyat at Red Bull’s junior team Toro Rosso, with Red Bull explaining that has taken place to assess who it should pair Max Verstappen with next season.

Speaking for the first time since the driver swap, team principal Christian Horner said “the ideal is we will select the driver to be alongside Max next year from that pool of drivers that we have under contract”.

“If we feel that none of the drivers within the pool can get the job done then of course we will look external to that,” said Horner. “But I am confident that the talent we have within the group will be sufficient.”

By holding the seat for the rest of 2019, Albon is best-placed to stake his claim for the driver full-time next year.

Read Also:

The list of options outside the Red Bull trio of Albon, Gasly and Kvyat is not expansive, with outgoing Renault driver Nico Hulkenberg arguably the most appealing of those available.

Asked by Motorsport.com if Hulkenberg was of interest, Horner replied: “Obviously we monitor the situation externally but it is unlikely we will take a driver from outside our own development programme.

“But as I said, [Red Bull will look elsewhere] if we feel we don’t have a driver who can get the job done – like we did with Mark Webber, he was taken from externally.”

Former Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel has been linked with a Red Bull return as his attempts to win a championship with Ferrari continue to be foiled.

Vettel won four titles with the team from 2010 to 2013 but is contracted to Ferrari until the end of 2020.

When Vettel left Red Bull to join Ferrari for 2015, he did so one year before his Red Bull contract was due to end.

However, Horner insisted: “He is not available next year. He is a Ferrari driver. He is contacted until the end of 2020.”

Red Bull has promoted Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo, Kvyat, Verstappen, Gasly and Albon to the senior team since it signed Webber from Williams for 2007.

Horner believes that philosophy works, pointing to Charles Leclerc’s strong debut season at Ferrari.

“If we hadn’t take the risks on youngsters previously, they would have never come through and never delivered for us,” said Horner.

“Leclerc’s doing a pretty decent job at Ferrari. I think Albon’s done a very good job for Toro Rosso, they are higher in the constructors’ than they’ve been for over 10 years.

“It’s very easy to be conservative. You have to be a little braver, and a bit more ambitious sometimes, and take the risk with a youngster.”

shares
comments
Red Bull explains reasoning behind Gasly demotion

Previous article

Red Bull explains reasoning behind Gasly demotion

Next article

Perez switches to older-spec Mercedes engine after failure

Perez switches to older-spec Mercedes engine after failure
Load comments
The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Prime

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track' Prime

Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track'

Mercedes ended Friday practice at the Hungaroring with a clear gap to Red Bull thanks to Valtteri Bottas’s pace in topping FP2. But there are other reasons why the Black Arrows squad feels satisfied with its progress so far at a track many Formula 1 observers reckon favours Red Bull overall...

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks Prime

How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks

OPINION: Red Bull was justified to be upset that Lewis Hamilton survived his British GP clash with Max Verstappen and went on to win. But its attempts to lobby the FIA to reconsider the severity of Hamilton's in-race penalty were always likely to backfire, and have only succeeded in creating a PR disaster that will distract from its on-track efforts

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach Prime

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach

OPINION: It wasn't just the Verstappen/Hamilton clash that had the Red Bull and Mercedes bosses at loggerheads at Silverstone, with the nature of Formula 1's 2025 engines also subject for disagreement. But hopes to have loud, emotive engines that are also environmentally friendly don't have to be opposed.

Formula 1
Jul 29, 2021
How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’ Prime

How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’

Cast in the mould of its founder Colin Chapman, Lotus was powerful and daring but flawed – as it proved through further soaring peaks and painful troughs into the 1980s. DAMIEN SMITH examines a game-changing era

Formula 1
Jul 27, 2021
The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address Prime

The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address

OPINION: Changes to the layout of Abu Dhabi’s circuit aim to reverse the trend of insipid Formula 1 races there - the promoter has even described one of the new corners as “iconic”. And that, argues STUART CODLING, is one of this venue’s abiding failings

Formula 1
Jul 26, 2021
How Ferrari offered Callum Ilott what Red Bull couldn't Prime

How Ferrari offered Callum Ilott what Red Bull couldn't

Last year's Formula 2 runner-up Callum Ilott could be on his way to becoming the first Briton to contest a grand prix in an Alfa Romeo since Reg Parnell in 1950. But, says Oleg Karpov, the Ferrari Driver Academy protege is having to temper his ambition at the moment – outwardly at least…

Formula 1
Jul 25, 2021
The signs that point to F1's rude health Prime

The signs that point to F1's rude health

OPINION: Formula 1's calendar might still be facing disruption as the pandemic affects travel but, says Mark Gallagher, the business itself is fundamentally strong thanks to the epic rivalry taking place on track and the consistent arrival of new sponsors.

Formula 1
Jul 24, 2021