Red Bull will not rush its decision on Alex Albon’s future due to the rest of the Formula 1 grid looking set for 2021, says Christian Horner.

The Milton Keynes outfit is currently weighing up whether to keep Albon in its line-up alongside Max Verstappen for next season amid a difficult first full campaign with the team.

Red Bull has admitted it would look outside its talent pool should it decide to replace Albon, with free agents Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg its two leading alternative options.

The other remaining seats on the 2021 grid look to be taken, with Lewis Hamilton expected to sign a new deal to remain at Mercedes, Haas believed to field an all-rookie line-up consisting of F2 duo Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin, and AlphaTauri likely to promote Yuki Tsunoda alongside Pierre Gasly.

Red Bull team principal Horner says the wider driver market picture means that Red Bull can afford to take its time before making a final call.

"Looking at today, he's had a pretty decent day, probably his best Friday for quite a while," Horner said after Albon finished second in FP1 and fifth in FP2 at the Turkish Grand Prix.

"As I've said all along, we want to see Alex lay claim to that seat. I think the difference is that [with] the alternatives we have, all the seats are full in Formula 1.

"So that buys us a little bit of time to make the most informed decision that we can, and of course give Alex as much time as we can and as much support as we can, and see what happens over the remaining three or four races.”

Horner indicated that Red Bull may even postpone finalising their driver plans until after the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi on 13 December.

"We're not putting any particular timescale on it," Horner said.

"Alex's contract allows us to make that decision after the season. Obviously we're aware of what the other options are.

"As I say, all the other seats are committed now in Formula 1, apart from Mercedes, and I doubt that Lewis will be joining us next season. But you never know."

 

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