Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has again backed Alex Albon following an error-riddled Eifel Grand Prix that has reignited the debate over his future with the team.
Albon finished half-a-second behind team-mate Max Verstappen in qualifying to line up fifth on the grid at the Nürburgring, only for the Thai-British driver to make, by his own admission, "a few mistakes" before eventually retiring with a damaged radiator.
Albon twice suffered lock-ups during the race, while he also collided with Daniil Kvyat in an incident that knocked off the front wing of the AlphaTauri, earning a time penalty and two penalty points.
The 24-year-old conceded he "wasn't too happy" with his race, yet Horner has opted to overlook the mistakes that did occur.
"He had a pretty sensible weekend," declared Horner. "He was almost on the second row of the grid, a few hundredths of a second off that, [and] he was a lot closer to his team-mate than he was in Russia.
"I think it’s a shame he didn’t get a result because I think there was more to come."
Reflecting on the incidents, Horner added: "He had a big lock-up into turn three on the opening lap, and our concern was that it had pretty much gone through to the canvas. And we were seeing vibrations increasing and increasing to the point that it was past our threshold.
"So from a safety point, we had to pit him at that point. He then started to make good progress back through the field. It was very unlucky in that he picked up some debris that pierced the radiator on the cooling circuit.
"We just saw our temperatures going sky-high and before losing an engine, we had no choice but to stop the car.
"He was running ahead of Leclerc and those guys and I think he would have been somewhere around Daniel [Ricciardo] and Sergio [Perez] with the progress he was making."
The likes of former F1 champion Nico Rosberg, who was a guest of Sky Sports F1 across the weekend, declared that Albon had "driven very, very badly this weekend".
Rosberg added: “He has been slow, done so many mistakes out there, and that is the opposite of what he needs at the moment.
"He needs a good result to secure his seat and with this, it doesn’t look like he is going to be able to keep hold of it. It’s a pity because he is likeable and we know he can drive well.”
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