Like the first two-thirds of the 2020 season, there was a big difference between the Red Bull riders at the Formula 1 Portuguese Grand Prix: while Max Verstappen confidently retained his third place, Alexander Albon didn’t even score a point despite his third start line.
And Christian Horner just gave the ultimatum to the Thai-British pilot the other day, meaning Albon will have his last chance to prove himself at next week’s Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix in Imola, but appears to be moving further and further away from next year’s Red Bull meeting.
In Mugello, the situation seemed to be to his advantage. He had a couple of harder weekends and has to shake back here and especially in Imola with a strong weekend from start to finish
The Red Bull team leader pointed out in an earlier statement.
According to the current position, Red Bull’s second place in the constructors ’championship is not in jeopardy, however, it would already regain the championship title from Mercedes in 2021, especially after it turned out that the next one would also be its last year with Honda.
This, in turn, would inevitably require two competitors on whom the team can rely. “Alex is a popular guy on our team, but we need two cars to fight the Mercedes. That is our goal, ”he said clearly.
In comparison, Albon, who finished 11th, collected only 64 of Red Bull’s 226 points this year, but Horner confirmed that there will be no change in the lineup this year anyway, then added: “There’s not much racing left of the season anymore and slowly the time will come to think about next year. And in a few weeks we have to decide, we are aware of our options. ”
It is known that Sergio Pérez, who broke out from Racing Point for the sake of four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel, as well as Silverstone goalkeeper Nico Hülkenberg, have a chance to be Verstappen’s teammate next year.
“I think any driver would prefer to choose Red Bull over any other team, so I think it’s conceivable that they’ll wait until a decision is made,” Horner pointed out that they’re not afraid of Red Bull being able to knock down any of the team’s hands.
“We are already committed to Alex this year. Everyone on the team wants to see him secure his meeting for next year. He’s a great guy, and we believe in his talent. This is only the second year in Formula One, which has been tough so far. Mentally, too, against Max. He has shown before that he can cut back, and I am very confident that after this hard weekend, he will do the same in Imola next week. ”
As for Albon’s other weak race, Horner said they need to dig deep into the data to understand certain correlations, including the reason why the tires on the Thai-British youth car were much more spectacularly worn. “We have a lot to understand, but obviously you have to cut back in just a week,” he stressed.
The former Formula 2 silver medalist also had to make an extra change in the final stages of the race due to tire handling problems – the team boss said the tread from the left rear Pirelli was really ruined. “We started to see him desperate. He wouldn’t have gotten to the end of the race with that tire, ”he concluded.