Red Bull to Announce Verstappen’s ’21 Teammate ‘Before Christmas’ as Albon Delivers ‘Strongest Race Weekend’

Published 12/15/2020, 2:29 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Sakhir Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Red Bull’s Alexander Albon arrives ahead of the Sakhir Grand Prix REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed


Red Bull has a dilemma on its hands. They still have to fill the second driver seat alongside Max Verstappen for the 2021 F1 season. And by the looks of it, they will announce the decision in the coming days.

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The current holder of that race seat, Alex Albon, was given until the whole season to prove his credentials. Even though he drove a strong race in Abu Dhabi, his season has largely been disappointing.

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko, who will take everything into account before coming to a conclusion, said, “It was one of his best races. Still, we will think it over and make our decision, before Christmas. We have to go through all the data. There are so many things we have to look at.”

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MEXICO CITY, MEXICO – OCTOBER 27: Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing talks with Red Bull Racing Team Consultant Dr Helmut Marko during final practice for the Formula One Grand Prix of Mexico at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on October 27, 2018 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // AP-1XB4UBEU91W11 // Usage for editorial use only // Please go to www.redbullcontentpool.com for further information. //

Team Principal Christian Horner also opened up regarding the timing of the decision, “So Alex had probably his strongest race weekend actually this weekend, which is encouraging for him, but we now have a full picture of the season. And we’ll make that decision in the coming days.”

“Obviously we have a huge amount of data now. We have all the knowledge across the various circuits that we’ve done, and we’ll sit down and obviously go through that and come to the right conclusion.”

Who deserves the Red Bull seat more? Albon or Perez? Or Hulkenberg?

First, it’s important to acknowledge the excellent racing abilities of all three drivers. Alexander Albon and Sergio Perez are two such drivers who are better in the races than qualifying. The Mexican has an advantage over his Thai counterpart when it comes to experience or even recent form.

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Fans seemingly want Perez to get that second seat over Albon. However, there’s a whole world of difference between going against Stroll and the mighty Verstappen. The Dutchman will pose a major challenge as well.

NUERBURG, GERMANY – OCTOBER 11: Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner and Red Bull Racing Team Consultant Dr Helmut Marko 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)

What the top team needs is an excellent qualifier. Someone in the mold of Nico Hulkenberg. So, they can lineup alongside the Mercedes duo on the front of the grid and compete from the start. He is the right choice for the team.

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The clock is ticking for Red Bull. They have given themselves just 10 days to make the announcement. And run Marko, they are expected to adhere to the deadline.

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Bharat Aggarwal

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Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.

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