Horner backs Albon to bounce back following unfair criticism
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has no doubt Alex Albon will respond on track to what he sees as the unfair criticism levied against him.
Albon endured a difficult weekend at the last grand prix in Hungary where he failed to make it out Q2 in a car that even team-mate Max Verstappen struggled to fathom.
The idiosyncrasies of the RB16 prompted good friend George Russell to suggest Albon was "being made to look like an idiot" and that Red Bull "need to sort it out for him".
Given Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko's penchant over the years for swapping under-performing drivers, it led to suggestions Albon could be in the firing line if he failed to raise his game.
Horner, though, has defended Albon ahead of the Silverstone double-header looming over the next two weekends.
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"It was a difficult weekend for Alex as the car spec changed a lot from session to session, and when you haven't got the experience, that's harder to deal with," said Horner.
"Actually in the race, when he managed to find his rhythm, his pace was very, very good, comparable with Max, and his overtaking was strong. I thought he did a super job.
"If you look at his pace in clear air, it was pretty decent. We were very satisfied with Alex's performance."
Asked whether Albon had the wherewithal to bounce back, Horner replied: "Absolutely. He's had a tough start to the year and we haven't given him a car that's suited him. Max's ability to drive around problems sometimes masks them.
"I actually think Alex has driven very well in the races this year, and hopefully as we improve the car, the Saturdays will improve.
"But his racecraft and his race pace [in Hungary], also in Austria, if you look when he was in clear air in the second half of the race, and his performance in the race, I think he did a great job and I struggle to understand any criticism of him that you guys may have."
Horner recognises it is down to the team to provide Albon with a car that does suit him, with Horner adding: "We know we've got to tidy the car up and that will hopefully make life easier for the drivers and move us closer to Mercedes.
"They have a phenomenal car at the moment, and it's down to us to close that gap and try and catch them."
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