Christian Horner says retaining Alexander Albon for the 2021 Formula 1 season is Red Bull’s ‘Plan A’ as speculation over the Thai driver’s future rumbles on.

Albon endured another torrid weekend at Portimao, finishing the race outside of the points in 12th.

With AlphaTauri confirming Pierre Gasly for 2021, Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez have been tipped as potential Albon replacements with the Mexican stating that Red Bull is an “option” for him.

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Speaking ahead of this weekend’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Horner reaffirmed his faith in Albon.

“He’s got his bum in the car and everyone wants to see him retain that seat,” Horner said. “He’s got to lock out the outside noise, get his head down, have a good weekend. It’s great to be back at Imola, it’s an old school circuit, it’s a different type of race weekend as well with more condensed running. And yeah, just get stuck into the weekend and get as much as we can out of the car.

“We’re fully focused on Plan A and making sure that Plan A happens. At the moment we’ll put our intention into that and if Plan B I’m sure you guys would be the first to know.”

Albon was also asked about his future and concedes that the speculation is normal and says performing on-track will put an end to the rumours.

“Yeah, there’s talk, there’ll always be talk,” Albon said. “But at the end of the day, I know listening to whatever has to be said doesn’t change anything on-track. 

“My focus is more on driving and the results more than anything else. I know that if I focus on that, all the other stuff will quiet down a bit. These things happen, but I focus on the job and that’s all that matters.”