Amid speculation that Alex Albon could be demoted to Scuderia AlphaTauri, Helmut Marko, the head of Red Bull’s driver development program, has said they will not switch him out for another driver as long as he keeps developing.
In an interview with the Salzburger Nachrichten newspaper, Marko admitted that Albon “looked stupid” at last weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix, but insisted it wasn’t his fault.
“His performance in Barcelona, including the strategy, was the fault of his race engineer. Alex looked stupid but it wasn’t his fault.
“It was his worst race, but as long as he keeps progressing he is out of the discussion [of losing his seat].”
Even if Red Bull did decide that a change is needed, they are short of options, with two of the most promising drivers previously in their pool of talent – Carlos Sainz and Daniel Ricciardo – no longer available to them.
One option would be to promote Pierre Gasly back to Red Bull.
Although he has been impressive so far this season, a move back to Red Bull looks unlikely for the Frenchman, as Albon is arguably doing a better job than he did when he was paired with Dutch ace Max Verstappen.
As Formula1News.co.uk managing editor Suliman Mulhem explored in an opinion piece earlier this week, Sebastian Vettel could be a good driver for them to bring back, but the likelihood of this happening is remote.
Is Kvyat’s Seat At Risk?
In the same interview, Marko was also questioned about the possibility of Daniil Kvyat losing his AlphaTauri seat to Japanese driver Yuki Tsunoda.
Team principal Franz Tost recently described him as a “fantastic driver” and said he will race for the team “sooner or later”.
However, Marko said an immediate change in driver line-up isn’t on the cards.
“Yes, Daniil is not performing as we expect. But we’re still just before half-time.
“Tsunoda in Formula 2 and [Liam] Lawson in Formula 3 are currently in positions that qualify them for a super license. But we are not thinking of exchanging Kvyat,” Marko said.
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