Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko said he made a “mistake” when claiming Red Bull would decide their drivers for 2020 after the Mexican GP.
Pierre Gasly suffered a torrid first half of his debut season with the team and was demoted back to Toro Rosso over the summer break, with Alex Albon coming the other way.
Since then Albon has been narrowing the pace deficit to Verstappen, even setting an identical time to his team-mate’s in Q3 at the Japanese GP, while Albon has claimed more points than Verstappen in his time at Red Bull, scoring 58 to the Dutchman’s 39.
But, a decision on the futures of all the Red Bull drivers will take longer to arrive than expected, with Marko saying he made a “mistake” with his previous comments having got the date of the Mexican GP muddled up.
“It was a mistake of mine to say that,” Marko told Autosport.
“I had in mind that Mexico would take place after the USA. Actually, it’s the other way around.
“But in the meantime, we have confirmed that all three drivers [Alex Albon, Pierre Gasly, Daniil Kvyat] will stay in our teams. Max’s situation is clear anyway. Now we’re in no hurry for when we decide who will drive in which team.”
Red Bull principal Christian Horner has said that the second Red Bull seat is Albon’s to lose, and Marko similarly has been impressed with the Anglo-Thai driver since stepping up to the senior team.
“He [Max] is a strong driver. He can afford to have a strong driver next to him,” Marko explained.
“But Albon has shown since Suzuka that he can be almost as fast as Max.”