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How Red Bull has prepared for a 'Hülkenberg situation'

How Red Bull has prepared for a 'Hülkenberg situation'

F1 News

How Red Bull has prepared for a 'Hülkenberg situation'

How Red Bull has prepared for a 'Hülkenberg situation'

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has confirmed how the team will react should either Max Verstappen or Sergio Perez be unable to contest this weekend's French Grand Prix.

After his demotion from a race seat at the end of last season, Alex Albon was confirmed to be the official reserve driver for both Red Bull and AlphaTauri this year.

Alongside his F1 duties, the driver is racing this year in German touring car series DTM, racing in an AlphaTauri-liveried Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo.

The championship kicks off this weekend at Monza and was not initially scheduled to clash with F1 duties but the French Grand Prix was moved to accommodate a second Austrian race in the wake of the cancellations to the Canadian and then the Turkish Grands Prix.

In an interview with Speedweek.com, Marko confirmed the F1 effort remains the priority, with Albon to be flown immediately from Italy to France if he is required to stand in for Verstappen or Perez.

"Albon remains the reserve driver for both Red Bull and AlphaTauri," said Marko. "If someone drops out, he is immediately taken from Italy to France via an airlift for more flexibility.

"If there are further overlaps during the season due to changes in dates, we will react on a case-by-case basis."

In last year's Covid-affected season, Nico Hülkenberg was twice called upon by Racing Point, now Aston Martin, with less than 24 hours notice on each occasion. With careful planning, Red Bull hopes to avoid a similar situation.

F2 junior to complete simulator duties

Whilst Albon is in Italy, he will be unable to complete the simulator work that is usually a part of his weekend reserve role.

In his place for the French Grand Prix will be 20-year-old Estonian Jüri Vips, the driver currently fourth in the F2 standings after two wins from three races in Azerbaijan.

Marko confirmed: “The simulator work on the weekend of the French GP will be carried out by Jüri Vips."

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