Back in the points at the British Grand Prix, Alex Albon is seemingly also back on Red Bull’s radar with Helmut Marko praising his former driver.
Although Red Bull have made it clear they’re sticking with the beleaguered Sergio Perez, it does appear as if there’s a silent ‘at least for now’ on the back of that.
The Mexican driver slumped to a season’s low at the British Grand Prix when he failed to make it out of Q1, meaning he hasn’t been in the pole position shoot-out for five race weekends in a row.
Alex Albon out-qualified Sergio Perez for the third successive race weekend
In sharp contrast the driver he replaced in 2021, Albon, qualified his Williams FW45 in eighth place having been inside the top-three in all three practice sessions at the Silverstone circuit.
His qualifying pace caught the attention of his former boss Marko.
“I think Alex is doing a great job,” Sports Illustrated quotes the 80-year-old as having said. “But if you put that into perspective, I assume that he drove at full power.
“That’s a good three, three and a half tenths here. And maybe the amount of fuel wasn’t as heavy as it was with us or Mercedes, for example.
“We call it ‘board time’ when someone comes from the top. The Williams is now a fast car, and in combination with Albon it is actually Q3-capable.”
And with the spotlight very much on Perez and his qualifying struggles, Marko added of Albon: “[He] is unfortunately tied to Williams until the end of 2025.”
Marko’s comments come in the wake of Formula 1 pundit Ted Kravitz highlighting Christian Horner’s recent praise of the Thai-British racer with the Briton saying he watched “as much of his race as our race” as Albon claimed seventh place in Canada.
Kravitz, speaking in his Sky Sports’ notebook, said: “Christian Horner was quick to praise Alex Albon wasn’t he. I thought that was interesting.
“Alex Albon has now severed all of his ties with Red Bull, he doesn’t even have it on the side of his helmet anymore.
“He still has the links with the Yoovidhya family, who are 51 per cent owners of Red Bull. There is a couple of sponsors that he has which are linked to the Yoovidhya family and their other brands that they have in Thailand.
“But Alex is not in the Red Bull camp anymore and Alex Albon finishing seventh in a Williams, even though it was 20 seconds behind, although yes Perez made an extra pit stop, but still behind Perez in a Red Bull in sixth, that wasn’t lost on anybody including Horner.”
Red Bull aren’t the only team said to be keeping an eye on Albon with Ferrari also reportedly interested should they lose Carlos Sainz at the end of the 2024 season.