On Friday ahead of this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix, Red Bull announced that Sergio Perez will remain Max Verstappen’s teammate next season after extending the Mexican’s contract by a year.

Pierre Gasly is set to stay at AlphaTauri alongside F1 rookie Yuki Tsunoda, with the decision ultimately ending Albon’s hopes of returning to either the senior team or its sister outfit for 2022.

But Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says his side will look to help Albon find another opening on the F1 grid, with two potential vacancies needing to be filled at both Williams and Alfa Romeo.

“Well Alex still remains an important part of the team, he’s played a key role this year and he will continue to play that role,” Horner said on Friday.

“We’re just looking at is there any options in F1 for him next year, but in the event he’s not in a race seat, he will be performing the same role that he has for us this year.”

Asked how likely he feels it is that Albon could find a full-time F1 seat, Horner replied: “You never know, but he’s a capable guy and a quick driver.

“He’s doing a good job in the DTM, won his first race last weekend and he’s an important part of our team.

“He’s doing a huge amount of work on 2022 - he’s obviously done the heavy lifting early on and he’s playing a crucial role in that.”

Horner said he was pleased to have a “settled” driver line-up at Red Bull heading into the second half of the 2021 season and the team’s ongoing championship battle with Mercedes.

Despite being happy with the job Perez has done so far this year, Horner acknowledged the Mexican still has improvements to make.

“Obviously qualifying is an important element, particularly with some of the tracks coming up but I think as he’s getting more and more familiar with the car, that will naturally improve," he explained.

“He’s had some bad luck on race days and we just need clean Sundays as well.”