A few months ago Red Bull made the decision to replace the underperforming Pierre Gasly with Albon, who had been impressing at junior team Toro Rosso.
According to team advisor Helmut Marko, it is still these two drivers in contention for the desired seat in 2020. Horner thinks Albon’s performances since being promoted have put him in the strongest position, though.
"First of all I think Alex did an amazing job to match Max's time [in qualifying], it was his first time here at Suzuka, a really tricky, drivers circuit," Horner told Channel 4 after Albon finished the Japanese Grand Prix in fourth, just missing out on a podium.
"He's certainly making a really good play for it. It's his seat to lose in many respects and I think everything he's done so far he's done a super job."
Daniil Kvyat was previously thought to be in the running, too, but with all the drivers already contracted to either Red Bull or Toro Rosso next season, the senior team aren’t in any rush to make any decision.
“All the drivers are under contract, we don't need to rush, but I'm very pleased with what he's done so far.”
As for the race at Suzuka, Horner was pleased with how his driver made up the ground to finish fourth with ease after previously losing ground to Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris of McLaren.
"He drove a good race. He had a bad start, but then recovered well and passed Lando [Norris], caught Carlos [Sainz] and passed him on the lap that Carlos pitted on, and then he made the two-stop strategy work," the team principal explained.
"Unfortunately he had lost touch with the leaders and it was quite a lonely P4 at that point."
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