With Alex Albon failing to impress, he is running out of time to convince Red Bull that he can be Max Verstappen’s teammate for the next season. If Albon doesn’t get the seat, the two leading candidates to replace him are Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg.
Perez’s excellent outing in Turkey meant that his stocks have definitely risen up and it has perhaps cast Hulkenberg into the shadow a little. However, Hulkenberg did cause a few hearts to flutter on Servus TV when he was asked if he had signed any contract.
The German driver’s reply (translated by Google), “Yes, I do (did)!”, must’ve left viewers surprised, with a flood of emotions boiling over.
But Hulkenberg went on to clarify that he hadn’t signed any contract with Red Bull and was merely referencing a “New home loan and savings contract.”
He added, “Otherwise there is nothing to report. The reports have calmed down a bit and I think it’ll be a while before it is really clear.”
Red Bull have publicly thrown their support behind the incumbent Albon and are giving him every chance to claim the seat for himself. Therefore, they are in no rush to get Albon or any of his touted replacements to put pen to paper just yet. And Hulkenberg is content with waiting.
After being without an F1 contract for a year, Nico doesn’t really have much to lose, unlike Perez, who seems to be at the peak of his powers.
As such, the ex-Renault driver doesn’t mind biding his time, waiting for an opportunity to arrive.
He said, “I’m pretty relaxed about that. It’s not in my hands. So, I just keep myself ready. And of course I hope that there will be another comeback and a chance. Where I would of course be very motivated and hot.
“But we just need a little patience until it is then the final decision there. “
Red Bull are certainly keeping not only their drivers but also their fans waiting with bated breaths. By the end of the season, it’ll be interesting to see who is the candidate that the Milton Keynes-based outfit picks to partner Verstappen for 2021.