Horner makes it clear: Albon is 'Plan A' for Red Bull in 2021

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Keeping Alex Albon is Red Bull's "Plan A" for 2021, team boss Christian Horner has stated.

Speculation over the Thai driver's future has been growing in recent weeks following poor results which have seen Albon fail to score a point since his third at Mugello.

Prior to last weekend's Portuguese Grand Prix, Red Bull suggested Albon had that race and this weekend at Imola to "justify" his place, but would only to go on and finish a lap behind teammate Max Verstappen in 12th at Portimao.

However, the support which he has had throughout the season, by and large, is continuing as Horner outlined what Albon needs to do to stay put.

“It’s Alex’s seat,” he declared to Formula1.com. “He’s got his bum in the car and everyone wants to see him retain that seat.

"I think he has to block out the outside noise, get his head down, just have a good weekend."

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Asked if the team is considering alternative plans, with Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez already confirmed as options, the Red Bull chief replied...

“Well we’re fully focused on Plan A [Albon] and making sure that Plan A happens, so at the moment I think we will just put all our attention into that.”

On why Albon was struggling to close the gap to Verstappen, Horner once again pointed to the characteristics of the Red Bull RB16. 

“I think that a fast car is sometimes a difficult car and of course, the way we try and generate lap times is on corner entry,” he explained.

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"The car has had its complexities this year, more so than even last year, I would say, and so that has made life difficult.

“I think we have started to understand that as a team, now I think we’re bringing developments that have started to address that.

"We’re all working hard to create a more rounded package that doesn’t have these peculiarities. So it’s something that everybody in the team is very much focused on.”

While Albon struggles, the man he swapped with, Pierre Gasly, has enjoyed great success with two podiums, including a victory at Monza.

The pair are also currently separated by just a single point in the Drivers' standings, but the 25-year-old has no interest of freely giving up his seat based on Gasly's performance.

“No, not at all. I think it’s every driver’s dream to race for a top team like Red Bull, and my intention is to stay here,” he said.