Red Bull will give Alex Albon until the final lap of the season to “prove his worth” before deciding its 2021 line up.
For a team with a reputation for being harsh on drivers, Red Bull are giving Albon every single opportunity possible to secure his future even in the face of constant criticism from the outside.
Sitting ninth in the Drivers’ standings on 64 points, just one ahead of the man he replaced last season, Pierre Gasly, Albon has yet to find his feet at Red Bull.
The Thai-British driver’s performances have left the team as a one-driver operation fighting against Mercedes.
As such Mercedes has already wrapped up the Constructors’ Championship, doing so with four races to spare, as the team took a 253-point lead at Imola.
That was a Sunday in which Red Bull failed to score a single point, Max Verstappen retiring when his RB16 blew a tyre while Albon was stone last having spun at the restart after a Safety Car period.
But while pundits reckon that was the last straw for Albon, Red Bull advisor Marko has given him yet another lifeline.
“Even after Imola, we will not make any decisions on Albon,” he told motorsport-total.com.
“We will give him a little more time.
“He even has Abu Dhabi to prove his worth and then we will make an internal decision on whether to follow or look for someone from outside.
“But there are many drivers in the market, so we will not be rushed.”
The two drivers leading the running to replace Albon are Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg.
While Perez brings with him the ability to finish races on the podium, something Hulkenberg has yet to do, the German is a good friend of Verstappen’s with the Dutchman reportedly wanting him in the race seat.
Albon isn’t paying any attention to the rumours.
“Of course I’m hanging in there, I’m doing everything I can. It was, in retrospect, not a bad weekend for me. But we’ll focus ahead on Turkey,” he said.