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No AlphaTauri exit for Albon in 2021 as Horner says 'It's Red Bull or on the bench'

No AlphaTauri exit for Albon in 2021 as Horner says 'It's Red Bull or on the bench'

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No AlphaTauri exit for Albon in 2021 as Horner says 'It's Red Bull or on the bench'

No AlphaTauri exit for Albon in 2021 as Horner says 'It's Red Bull or on the bench'

Christian Horner has warned Alex Albon he faces a stark choice for 2021 - 'Red Bull on the bench'.

Albon is locked in a tussle for his Red Bull berth with Sergio Perez, who is as yet without a drive next season after being jettisoned from Racing Point in favour of Sebastian Vettel.

Although Albon has struggled throughout the campaign, podiums at Mugello and again on Sunday in Bahrain have kept him in the reckoning to retain his seat, aided by constant backing in the public eye from team principal Horner.

Horner, however, has revealed there is no escape route to AlphaTauri for the Thai-British driver, as was the case for Pierre Gasly in 2019.

"I don't believe he [Albon] forms part of Franz's [Tost] plans for next year," explained Horner. "So it is very much a Red Bull seat or you are on the bench.

"The focus is on giving him that opportunity. He has got two races, he did a good job last weekend getting on the podium, his second podium in Formula 1.

"He has had a good first practice, a good start to the weekend here and [has] two more weekends to demonstrate that he is absolutely the right guy to be alongside Max in the car next year.

"We will give him all the support we possibly can to achieve that goal."

With that in mind, Albon may be fretting over what his outlook is ahead of next season should Horner and Dr Helmut Marko decide to pull the plug on his Red Bull career.

Horner is adamant that no thoughts of plans for 2021 will be entertained until after next weekend's season finale in Abu Dhabi and that Albon being benched is "not something we are contemplating at the moment".

Horner added: "I guess when we get to the end of the year we will evaluate all of those options.

"He is on a long-term agreement, as all Red Bull drivers are when they join the team.

"Our focus at the moment is on the race seat and giving him the opportunity to demonstrate he is making significant progress, building on that podium last weekend and this early practice form."

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