Red Bull’s motorsport advisor, Dr Helmut Marko, is confident the change in race engineer will help Alex Albon reach his potential at the team.
Even though Albon has had genuine chances at a first Formula 1 podium slip away from his grasp of late, he has been under pressure because of an inability to keep up with the pace set by Max Verstappen on the other side of the garage.
There have been calls for Red Bull to ditch Albon for a more established driver such as Sebastian Vettel or Sergio Perez for 2021 but the team are sticking by the British-Thai driver and are trying to help him.
That help has come with experienced race engineer Simon Rennie being drafted back into the garage and Marko is hopeful we will all see a notable improvement from Albon.
“His former engineer didn’t do a bad job, but he was still new to the job. It’s also down to us that Albon has not been able to tap into his full potential,” Marko told f1-insider.com.
“His new race engineer has a lot of experience and will be able to help him. I am sure that there will be an increase in performance from the very first race at Silverstone.”
Albon also absolved his now former race engineer, Mike Lugg, from any blame in his troubles as he returns to a factory role.
“I didn’t have any problems with Mike,” Albon said.
“It’s just that the car is very difficult to drive and the team decided that in such a situation, someone with more experience is needed.”
Rennie was the former race engineer for Daniel Ricciardo during his Red Bull days and the Aussie is a big fan.
“He obviously has a lot of experience and he’s very good,” Ricciardo said of Rennie.
“A driver/race engineer relationship, first and foremost, there needs to be a relationship – you need to get on with each other you need to understand each other.
Simon understood me and understood that I was, at times, different. But we had, I think, that connection and that chemistry and that helped me put my faith and trust in him.
“As far as Alex goes, now with Simon, I’m sure that it’s going to go good. We’ll see. Every driver’s different but I certainly had a very good few years with Simon.”