Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has promised he will not drop Alex Albon before the end of this season despite his latest disappointing result.
Albon was lapped by team-mate Max Verstappen en route to finishing a disappointing 12th at the Algarve International Circuit as the Dutchman again outclassed the 24-year-old, as he did with Pierre Gasly in 2019 prior to the Frenchman's demotion.
While Verstappen captured his ninth podium this season, finishing behind Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, Albon's poor performance has again drawn his future into question.
"We’re committed to Alex for this year," said Horner. "Everybody in the team wants him to lay claim to the seat next year.
"He’s a great guy, we believe he does have talent, he’s still only in his second year in Formula 1 and it’s tough, it’s very tough.
"It’s mentally tough, it’s tough going up against Max. He showed that he can bounce back previously and I really hope for him that can bounce back from a difficult weekend here at Imola next weekend."
Horner has repeatedly stated that Red Bull will not consider promoting Pierre Gasly for a second time, despite the Frenchman proving himself at Toro Rosso initially and then AlphaTauri over the past 12 months.
Gasly has twice been on the podium, even claiming his maiden F1 win at Monza earlier this year, but it has not been enough to convince Horner he is the answer.
"Our first and foremost priority is to give Alex the opportunity to make claim to that seat," added Horner. "Let’s not forget when he jumped in that car last year he outscored and outperformed Pierre significantly on the balance of 2019.
"If we were to swap them back, why would it be any different?"
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