Red Bull will look at options “outside” its talent pool if it decides not to retain Alex Albon for the 2021 Formula 1 season, says Christian Horner. 

Albon is Red Bull’s preferred option to continue alongside Max Verstappen for next season but his inconsistent results this year have resulted in speculation that he could be replaced in the team’s driver line-up.

Horner stressed that Red Bull wants Albon to “claim” his seat and put to bed any rumours with a string of consistent and convincing displays at the next two races at Portimao and Imola.

“We want Alex to claim that seat and basically justify that there is no need to look at any other alternative than Alex,” Horner explained.

“I think everybody in the team wants to see him do that. It felt like in Mugello he was starting to turn the corner and so on.

"He’s had a couple of difficult weekends, so he needs to bounce back here I think and particularly Imola with a strong weekend from start to finish. So that’s our focus, that’s our objective.

“He’s a popular member of the team but we need two cars closer together in order to fight the Mercedes, and that’s what we’ve got to do. That’s our target.”

But Horner said Red Bull is prepared to consider drivers such as free agents Nico Hulkenberg or Sergio Perez if it decides to dispense of Albon’s services.

Asked if Red Bull would take on an AlphaTauri driver if Albon was dropped, Horner replied: “No. I think AlphaTauri are pretty settled with their drivers.

“As I say, our preference is very much Alex. But if we had a look at a different solution, then obviously we would have to look outside of the Red Bull pool of drivers, simply because there is not one available that we would look to put in.

“There’s some quality drivers, obviously, on the market, that could be unemployed for next year.”

 

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