One team that is yet to confirm their drivers’ lineup for the 2021 season is Red Bull Racing. Both Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg are linked to the seat; however, no concrete decision has been taken yet.
This is possibly keeping in mind the provision of enough chances to Alex Albon, who has come under immense scrutiny in recent times. Like they have said from the start, the team wants Albon to stake a serious claim to the seat heading into the 2021 season.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has indirectly indicated, to both Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg, that a quick decision is not forthcoming. Considering there are not a lot of options in F1 now, it is technically Red Bull or bust for the two experienced drivers.
Perhaps it is this heat of an uncertain future that propelled Albon to a decent performance in both practice sessions at Istanbul Park. In the FP1 session, he finished only 0.2 seconds behind teammate Max Verstappen.
Horner is quoted as saying, “We know the drivers that are available and there are two experienced drivers who are without a seat at the moment.
“All the seats are taken for next year so there are no other options.”
Speculation had earlier suggested a new recruit might replace Albon, as part of the former’s adjustment to life at Red Bull. However, Horner has now quashed those rumors and said that the Thai driver will race for the team for the remainder of 2020.
“That gives us more time, and gives Alex more time, just to see him hopefully lay claim to that seat.
“There was never any doubt that he would complete the season with us, and that’s what will happen,” he added.
Although he has time to prove himself, Albon’s overall numbers at Red Bull, do not make for encouraging reading. Especially when the team aspires to be upfront, battling with Mercedes for the title.
Even if he is demoted from Red Bull, there is a risk of not landing a seat back at AlphaTauri. Rumors are strong that young F2 driver Yuki Tsunoda will make the step up to the big league in 2021.
In that regard, all three drivers, Albon, Perez, and Hulkenberg, will wait with bated breath for Red Bull’s decision. As it stands, it is Alex Albon’s seat to lose.