Red Bull are leaning towards signing Nico Hulkenberg for the 2021 F1 season, Formula1News.co.uk understands.
This comes amid heightened speculation that Sergio Perez is likely to partner Max Verstappen at the team next season.
It was previously reported that Max Verstappen is pushing the Milton Keynes-based team to replace Alex Albon with Hulkenberg, as he wants a strong rear-gunner to help him take on the two Mercedes next year.
For their part, Red Bull have insisted that they are yet to make a decision on Albon’s future with the team and won’t do so until after the season finale in Abu Dhabi this weekend.
However, in early November, a source told Formula1News.co.uk that Red Bull have already decided to drop Alex Albon but haven’t finalised a replacement for him.
Following Perez’s victory in last weekend’s Sakhir Grand Prix, Dr Helmut Marko, the head of Red Bull’s driver programme, insisted that the Mexican’s performance will not influence their decision in any way.
“Sergio Perez’s victory in Bahrain has no influence on our decision,” Dr Marko said earlier this week.
“We already knew the strengths and weaknesses of the candidates for the cockpit before that. After the last race in Abu Dhabi we will sit down and make the best possible decision,” he added.
Albon’s fate should become apparent over the coming weeks, and, should Red Bull decide to axe him, the F1 community will be eagerly waiting to see who will take his seat.