Horner: Red Bull will take outside driver if Albon dropped

Red Bull Racing Formula 1 boss Christian Horner is clear that the team will look outside its own pool of drivers if Alex Albon is not retained in 2021.

Horner: Red Bull will take outside driver if Albon dropped

Albon’s future has been the subject of speculation recently amid struggles to match the pace of teammate Max Verstappen. He currently has 64 points compared to the 147 of the Dutchman.

Meanwhile Pierre Gasly’s strong form at AlphaTauri suggested that he might be given a second chance at RBR should Albon be dropped.

However Red Bull motor sport chief Helmut Marko hinted recently that the main team would not replace Albon with one its established drivers, and would look elsewhere.

Having tried Daniil Kvyat, Gasly and Albon Red Bull is now seriously considering a different approach and looking outside for a more established name who would score points regularly and contribute to a challenge for the constructors’ championship.

Asked if RBR would take an AlphaTauri driver if Albon was to be dropped, Horner’s reply was clear.

“No. I think AlphaTauri are pretty settled with their drivers," Horner said.

“But if we had to look at a different solution, then obviously, we would have to look outside of the Red Bull pool of drivers, simply because there's not one available that we would look to look to put in. And there's some quality drivers, obviously, on the market that could be unemployed for next year.”

Read Also:

Red Bull "needs two cars closer together"

Horner stressed that Red Bull's "preference is very much Alex", but he has to earn the drive.

He also cited the need for a strong performance at Imola, opening up the intriguing possibility that Albon is up against a deadline.

“We want Alex to claim that seat and basically justify that there is no need to look at any other alternative,” he said.

“I think everybody in the team wants him to see him do that. And it felt like in Mugello it was starting to turn a corner and so on.

“He's had a couple of difficult weekends. So he needs to bounce back here I think, and particularly Imola, with a strong, strong weekend from start to finish.

“So that's our focus. As I say, he's a popular member of the team. But we need two cars closer together in order to fight in order to fight the Mercedes, and that's what we've got to do. That's our target.”

Looking at outside options for the seat, the team has already talked to Nico Hulkenberg after Albon had an inconclusive COVID test prior to the Eifel GP, and it was thought that a reserve driver might be required. In the end Albon was passed fit, and Hulkenberg was not needed.

Sergio Perez is also attractive to the team given the commercial support that he brings. Red Bull will lose its Aston Martin title sponsorship next year.

shares
comments

Related video

FIA relaxes Portimao track limits after practice farce
Previous article

FIA relaxes Portimao track limits after practice farce

Next article

Portuguese GP: Bottas completes practice sweep at Portimao

Portuguese GP: Bottas completes practice sweep at Portimao
Load comments
Why 2022 could be Leclerc's best chance to end his Monaco F1 curse Prime

Why 2022 could be Leclerc's best chance to end his Monaco F1 curse

Charles Leclerc's ill-fortune at his home Formula 1 race is well-established. But his single lap pace and over longer runs during Friday practice will leave the Ferrari driver upbeat that he can make up for his Barcelona disappointment by finally recording a finish and perhaps even banking 25 world championship points in Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix...

Formula 1
May 27, 2022
The inevitable consequence of the Liberty F1 popularity boom Prime

The inevitable consequence of the Liberty F1 popularity boom

Sell out crowds at Formula 1 races are the norm rather than the exception these days, as grand prix racing is enjoying a massive boom under Liberty Media. But the Spanish Grand Prix highlighted numerous issues some circuits may face as demand for F1 soars

Formula 1
May 26, 2022
The danger for Red Bull in its Barcelona F1 team orders choice Prime

The danger for Red Bull in its Barcelona F1 team orders choice

OPINION: Red Bull walked into a team orders saga on its way to taking a Spanish Grand Prix 1-2 last weekend, where it took the lead of the 2022 Formula 1 world championships for the first time. But its decisions have added an element of risk to later races.

Formula 1
May 25, 2022
Why Mercedes' Spanish GP gains aren't as grand as they seemed Prime

Why Mercedes' Spanish GP gains aren't as grand as they seemed

Mercedes' strong showing in last weekend's Spanish Grand Prix prompted team boss Toto Wolff to say it had halved its deficit to the leaders and its Formula 1 title chances were back on after a rocky start to the 2022 campaign. But a closer inspection of the team's performance suggests its gains aren't as grand as they first appeared

Formula 1
May 24, 2022
What's next for the Green Red Bull controversy? Prime

What's next for the Green Red Bull controversy?

From the 'pink Mercedes' to the 'Green Red Bull', the Silverstone-based team has received suspicious glares from up and down the Formula 1 paddock over its car design exploits. But after being cleared by the FIA over its Spanish Grand Prix updates amid a backdrop of cries of foul play, what's next in this saga?

Formula 1
May 24, 2022
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022 Prime

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022

In an unusually hectic Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc was denied a dominant performance by his Ferrari engine letting go which allowed Max Verstappen to pick up the pieces. But numerous flashpoints kept the race twisting and turning throughout, with one perfect score from an emerging contender

Formula 1
May 23, 2022
How Verstappen overcame his and Red Bull’s errors to win in Spain Prime

How Verstappen overcame his and Red Bull’s errors to win in Spain

Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari engine disaster offered an open goal for Max Verstappen and Red Bull to strike, but the reigning Formula 1 world champion still had to solve multiple errors and profit from a begrudged assist from team-mate Sergio Perez, which created an unexpectedly eventful Spanish Grand Prix

Formula 1
May 23, 2022
Why Red Bull can win a Spanish GP that looked perfect for Ferrari Prime

Why Red Bull can win a Spanish GP that looked perfect for Ferrari

Formula 1's return to Spain on Friday ended with Ferrari leading the way from Mercedes, while Red Bull could only manage third fastest overall courtesy of Max Verstappen. But its chances of victory are far from remote with a deeper dig into the times despite Ferrari's strong start...

Formula 1
May 20, 2022