Red Bull Formula 1 team principal Christian Horner says a decision over who will partner Max Verstappen next year will be made “in the coming days”.

With the 2020 season now over following Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Red Bull’s focus has switched onto its long-deliberated conundrum of which driver will be teammate to Verstappen next season.

Alex Albon has endured a difficult first full-season at Red Bull and the team is understood to be weighing up whether to stick with the Thai racer or make a move for Sergio Perez, who is out of contract and without a drive for 2021 despite an outstanding campaign at Racing Point.

Speaking after the race on Sunday, Horner revealed a final call is set to be made imminently, with Red Bull currently evaluating “a huge amount of data” as it considers its options.

“We have always said that we will go to the end of the year, and then make our decision at the end of the season,” said Horner.

“Alex had his strongest race weekend this weekend [in Abu Dhabi], which is encouraging for him, and we now have a full picture of the season. And we will make that decision in the coming days.

“We have a huge amount of data now,” he added. “We have all the knowledge across the various circuits that we have done, and will sit down and go through that so that we can come to the right conclusion.”

Albon picked up his second podium of a mixed season in Bahrain, and followed that up with another strong weekend in Abu Dhabi as he finished just behind Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in fourth place.

Horner said Albon’s level of performance in Abu Dhabi was exactly what the team is looking for in order to put greater pressure on Mercedes as it eyes a potential title challenge in 2021.

“It is certainly what we were expecting to see because the only way that you could put Mercedes under pressure is if, for example, they had split their strategy we could have been very exposed,” Horner explained.

“Certainly at the end of the race Alex was able to close on them. He lost a bit of ground at the beginning of the stint after the Safety Car once they changed effectively to the same strategy to the end of the race, But I think Alex drove a good race and he has had a solid weekend.”

 

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