Over the weekend, Red Bull Racing said they will finalise their 2021 driver line-up by Christmas at the very latest, insisting that they have not yet made a decision on the fate of Alex Albon.
It has long been speculated that, should Red Bull decide to drop Albon, Sergio Perez or Nico Hulkenberg are favourite to replace the Thai driver.
Following the lacklustre Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Sky Sports F1 pitlane reporter Ted Kravitz cited sources in the paddock as saying that Red Bull have decided to run Perez alongside Max Verstappen next year.
“We are expecting an announcement maybe in the next coming week that Sergio Perez has joined the team, and Alex Albon is staying on as a test and reserve driver,” Kravitz revealed in his 2020 Abu Dhabi GP notebook.
Continuing, he said it looks like “Christian Horner and Helmut Marko have managed to convince [Red Bull owner] Dietrich Mateschitz, who wanted to keep the faith with Alex Albon, to sign Perez.”
Kravitz suggested that Red Bull will sign Sergio Perez on a one-year deal so they can re-evaluate their options at the end of 2021.
“It seems like there is nothing to lose. They might as well sign Checo on a one-year deal and see how it goes, and if he can’t do the job that they want him to do, they’ve got Alex Albon in reserve. That seems like what is going to happen.”
Following the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola around six weeks ago, a source told Formula1News.co.uk that Red Bull have decided to axe Alex Albon at the end of the year and he will only be on the F1 grid with Scuderia AlphaTauri next season if Yuki Tsunoda fails to get a Super Licence.