Jul.30 (GMM) A familiar face is returning to the F1 paddock to help Alex Albon get up to speed.
Having been promoted to the senior Red Bull team mid-way through his debut season last year, the British-born Thai driver is still struggling to keep up with Max Verstappen.
It means speculation is swirling about the 24-year-old potentially losing his seat for 2021.
“If Red Bull is smart, they would put Sergio Perez in the other car next to Verstappen,” former F1 driver Giedo van der Garde told racingnews365.nl.
Indeed, Mexican Perez is tipped to lose his Racing Point seat to Sebastian Vettel.
“He (Perez) is better than Albon,” van der Garde charged. “You can see it especially in qualifying, in which he (Albon) is invariably half a second off Max.
“I think Perez has the speed to chase Verstappen, and that would help him. You saw that when Daniel Ricciardo was his teammate,” he added.
However, Red Bull is clearly not giving up on Albon yet. From this weekend’s race at Silverstone, he will have a new race engineer – Simon Rennie.
Rennie was Mark Webber’s engineer in 2013 before working with Ricciardo until 2018. Last year, Rennie opted for a factory-based role.
Mike Lugg, who until now has been Albon’s engineer, will be relegated to the factory at Milton Keynes.
“As a team we are committed to maximising the performance of the RB16 and our drivers as we continue our championship campaign in this shortened and condensed season,” Red Bull said in a statement.