Red Bull bluntly rule out driver to become Max Verstappen’s team-mate

Max Verstappen is currently dominating Sergio Perez, fuelling speculation that the Mexican will soon be fired.

Amid speculation about potential changes in the Red Bull Racing lineup, Helmut Marko, Red Bull’s advisor, has firmly indicated that Alex Albon will not be making a return as Max Verstappen’s teammate.

Although Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner expresses confidence in Sergio Perez’s short-term future, Marko’s stance suggests a different perspective on the team’s driver choices. 

Additionally, Marko has consistently commended Lando Norris’s performances this season.

Marko’s recent comments regarding Albon’s prospects reflect a certain level of skepticism.

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“Max’s [Verstappen] teammate has a very tough and difficult life,” Marko remarked. 

“Albon has already had his chance. 

“He has improved remarkably since then, but at the moment there is no driver who is on Max’s level.” 

Marko’s assertion comes despite Albon’s recent streak of strong performances that have attracted attention from other top teams, including Ferrari.

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Albon’s growing reputation within the grid cannot be ignored, raising questions about the rationale behind Red Bull’s stance on his possible return. 

Despite his improving form, Red Bull seems resolute in their decision. 

The consideration of a redemption arc for the Williams driver appears to be off the table, according to Marko’s statements.

The contractual landscape in Formula 1 is often fluid, and the recent Daniel Ricciardo/Oscar Piastri and Ricciardo/Nyck De Vries situations demonstrate that contracts can sometimes be less binding than they appear. 

As both Albon and Perez hold contracts until the end of 2024, the coming seasons hold potential for further shifts in the driver market. 

While Verstappen, Norris, and Valtteri Bottas have contracts extending beyond 2024, uncertainties linger for other drivers.

With several notable contracts yet to be finalised, the 2024 season could see significant changes. 

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Lewis Hamilton’s future with Mercedes remains uncertain as negotiations continue. 

Moreover, AlphaTauri, Williams, Aston Martin, and Alfa Romeo all have yet to confirm their line up for 2024. 

Haas was initially an open question but recently confirmed that they will retain Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg for 2024 despite the Danish driver being outperformed repeatedly by his German counterpart.