Red Bull’s driver line-up for the 2021 Formula 1 season may not be determined until after this year’s final round, according to team boss Christian Horner.
Incumbent Alexander Albon has struggled to match team-mate Max Verstappen since joining Red Bull mid-2019 and has scored only a single point in the wake of claiming a maiden podium at Mugello.
Red Bull had previously suggested that it was keen to evaluate the situation after the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix but it has yet to make a call.
Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg are understood to be on Red Bull’s shortlist should it opt to dispense with Albon’s services.
Horner has reiterated that Albon remains Red Bull’s priority and believes its predicament is aided by the relatively full nature of the 2021 grid at other teams.
Aside from Red Bull only Mercedes, AlphaTauri and Haas have yet to confirm their 2021 line-ups.
Mercedes is expected to renew terms with Lewis Hamilton, AlphaTauri is poised to promote Yuki Tsunoda, while Haas is set to recruit Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin.
“As we’ve said all along, we want to see Alex lay claim to that seat,” said Horner.
“The difference is the alternatives we have, all the seats are full in Formula 1.
“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 possibly can, as much support as we possibly can, and see what happens over the remaining three or four races.”
When asked whether there was a deadline Horner replied: “Well we’re not putting any particular time scale on it. Alex’s contract allows us to make the decision after the season.
“Obviously we are 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.”