Horner: New RB driver could have same problems

Jamie Woodhouse
Alex Albon PA

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner believes a new driver coming into the team could have the same issues that Alex Albon has faced.

Albon’s career with Red Bull is hanging by a thread with four races to go of the 2020 season.

His first podium in the series, a P3 at Mugello, was supposed to be the turning point, the result that lifted the mounting pressure on Albon’s shoulders.

But in fact the opposite has happened. Since then, Albon has scored only one point in what has been a run of four poor performances and Albon is now expected to lose his seat to either Nico Hulkenberg or Sergio Perez.

This is not the first time recently though that a young driver in the Red Bull programme has graduated into a works seat and failed to deliver.

It was Albon who replaced Pierre Gasly last year with the Frenchman struggling halfway through his first season with Red Bull.

Since that point he has returned to AlphaTauri and established himself as one of the brightest prospects in the sport, taking P2 at the 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix and winning his first race at Monza this year.

Jenson Button, the 2009 World Champion, has said the Red Bull car is designed around Max Verstappen and “no-one else can drive it”.

So, is there a risk that any new driver Red Bull may bring into the team will just have the same problems as Gasly and Albon?

“Of course there is. I think a fast car is sometimes a difficult car and of course, the way we try to generate lap time is at the entrance of the curve,” Horner told Motorsport.com.

“And the car has had its complexities this year, more than last year I would say. So that has made life difficult. ”

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Horner, though, thinks Red Bull are now starting to get on top of their tricky RB16.

“I think now we’ve started to understand it,” he explained.

“I think we’ve been bringing in some developments that have started to address that and I think, you know, that’s something we are working hard on to create a more rounded package that doesn’t have these quirks.

“So something that everyone on the team is very focused on.”

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