Helmut Marko Explains the Presence of Alexander Albon at the 2021 French F1 Grand Prix

Published 06/16/2021, 11:02 AM EDT
NUERBURG, GERMANY – OCTOBER 11: Red Bull Racing Team Consultant Dr Helmut Marko and Scuderia Ferrari Team Principal Mattia Binotto talk on the grid before the F1 Eifel Grand Prix at Nuerburgring on October 11, 2020 in Nuerburg, Germany. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images)


Red Bull’s advisor Helmut Marko has confirmed that they have prepared for a Hulkenberg situation. The Austrian stated if the situation of one of their driver is unavailable to race at the French Grand Prix arose, Alex Albon would be called on as a replacement.

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Last year, Nico Hulkenberg raced for Racing Point twice when their drivers tested positive for COVID-19. Racing Point called him on the last minute as a replacement for Perez at Silverstone and for Stroll at Germany.

Red Bull had dropped Alex Albon last season for Sergio Perez and signed him as a reserve driver. Albon is racing at Monza this weekend in the DTM racing series. The categories were not clashing with each other earlier but the cancellation of the Turkish Grand Prix made the clash inevitable.

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When F1 canceled Turkey and Canada, they moved the French Grand Prix a week earlier. So the availability of Albon has become an issue for Red Bull. But Marko is confident that Albon would be available to them.

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“If someone drops out, he is immediately taken from Italy to France”: Marko

According to GPfans, Marko stated he is not worried about Albon’s availability as F1 remains a priority for the Thai driver.

SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA – Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner, Red Bull Racing Team Consultant Dr Helmut Marko and Renault Sport F1 Managing Director Cyril Abiteboul talk on the grid before the Formula One Grand Prix of Austria at Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

“Albon remains the reserve driver for both Red Bull and AlphaTauri,” said Marko. “If someone drops out, he is immediately taken from Italy to France via an airlift for more flexibility.

“If there are further overlaps during the season due to changes in dates, we will react on a case-by-case basis,” said Helmut Marko.

He also confirmed that F2 driver Juri Vips will take over simulator duties. Vips put on a stellar performance last week to win 2 of 3 races at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

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NUERBURG, GERMANY – OCTOBER 11: Red Bull Racing Team Consultant Dr Helmut Marko and Scuderia Ferrari Team Principal Mattia Binotto talk on the grid before the F1 Eifel Grand Prix at Nürburgring on October 11, 2020 in Nürburg, Germany. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images)

Can Red Bull and Marko give Albon another chance in F1?

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Alex Albon is a fast, talented, and skillful driver. He was promoted to Red Bull in his rookie season when the Austrian team demoted Pierre Gasly to Toro Rosso. Albon was inconsistent in his time at the big team, although he stood on a podium twice.

There is still an opportunity for Alex in F1 if Marko gives the Thai driver a drive at Toro Rosso if they decide to switch their lineup for the 2022 season.

What do you think? Will Albon ever return to F1 again? Comment below to let us know.

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Devang Chauhan

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