Dr. Helmut Marko has dampened the buzz around the possibility of Red Bull reconvening with the in-form Alex Albon.
Behind the wheel of a Williams, the British-Thai talent consistently marked his presence in the top 5 or 6 during the Dutch GP weekend, only to land in the eighth spot in the race’s finale.
This commendable show is set against the backdrop of Max Verstappen’s teammate, Sergio Perez, facing challenges. It’s notable that Perez had stepped in to replace the then-struggling Albon in 2021.
Marko, however, was quick to emphasize that it is “clear” that Mexican Perez has a contract for 2024.
“We are pressuring him to do better, as we want to finish second in the championship,” the team advisor said.
When posed with a question by broadcaster Viaplay about the prospect of the impressive Albon, aged 27, making a comeback to his Red Bull Racing seat, Marko responded.
“Max’s teammate has a very tough and difficult life,” the 80-year-old answered. “Albon has already had his chance.
“He has improved remarkably since then, but at the moment there is no driver who is on Max’s level,” Marko added.
Amid Albon’s shining performances, the revival of the Williams team under the new leadership of James Vowles this year hasn’t gone unnoticed.
“It’s been very impressive to see,” said Verstappen at Zandvoort. “I’m very happy for Alex as well. I’m very happy for him to be up there.”
Adding to the chorus of praises, former Williams driver George Russell chimed in: “Williams is making a huge amount of progress at the moment and I think James Vowles is having a really positive impact there.”