Christian Horner says Aston Martin Red Bull Racing’s 2021 driver line-up remains uncertain, although the fact other teams have finalised their drivers for next season gives them more time to decide who will partner Max Verstappen.
Alexander Albon is currently at the team and showed good pace throughout the two Friday practice sessions at the Intercity Istanbul Park, but his place in the team going forward is uncertain due to a poor run of form that has seen him score only one point in the past four races.
Both Nico Hülkenberg and Sergio Pérez are available, with Red Bull having revealed they will look outside their own programme if Albon is dropped, but Horner, the Team Principal at Red Bull, says it remains up to the Thai driver to lock down his position across the final four races.
“Looking at today, he’s had a pretty decent day, probably his best Friday for quite a while,” Horner is quoted as saying by Motorsport.com. “As I’ve said all along, we want to see Alex lay claim to that seat. I think the difference is that [with] the alternatives we have, all the seats are full in Formula 1.
“So that buys us a little bit of time to make the most informed decision that we can, and of course give Alex as much time as we can and as much support as we can, and see what happens over the remaining three or four races.”
Horner says they have not put a deadline on making a decision on their 2021 line-up, with Albon’s contract allowing for the decision to be made after the conclusion of the current campaign.
“We’re not putting any particular timescale on it,” insisted Horner. “Alex’s contract allows us to make that decision after the season. Obviously we’re aware of what the other options are.
“As I say, all the other seats are committed now in Formula 1, apart from Mercedes, and I doubt that Lewis will be joining us next season. But you never know.”