Villeneuve blasts Red Bull as Albon given until Abu Dhabi to 'prove his worth'

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Red Bull is now giving Alex Albon until the end of the season to "prove his worth" and keep his seat for 2021.

Previously, the team had claimed next weekend's Turkish Grand Prix was the deadline for a decision to be made, with team boss Christian Horner declaring Albon had Portimao and Imola to "justify" his place.

Well, at both races the Thai driver failed to score after disappointing performances, but the usually cut-throat Helmut Marko is giving him one last reprieve.

“Even after Imola, we will not make any decisions on Albon,” he told Germany's “We will give him a little more time.

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“He even has Abu Dhabi to prove his worth and then we will make an internal decision on whether to follow or look for someone from outside.

“But there are many drivers in the market, so we will not be rushed.”

Both Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg are waiting in the wings should Red Bull decide to change.

However, team boss Christian Horner admits there is a chance they too would struggle to adapt to the car in the same way Albon and Pierre Gasly did.

"Of course there is," he was quoted by GPFans.

"I think a fast car is sometimes a difficult car and I think the way we try to generate lap time is on corner entries and the car has had its complexities this year, more so than even last year I would say.

"That has made life difficult but I think we have started to understand that as a team now, and we have brought in some developments to address that.

"That is something we are working on a lot to create a more rounded package that doesn't have these peculiarities so something that everyone in the team is very much focused on."

However, 1997 F1 world champion Jacques Villeneuve isn't buying any of Red Bull's comments.

“Albon is the worst second driver ever at Red Bull," the Canadian reportedly told Sky Italia.

“However, he is protected by the team management and always gets the confidence, but he is certainly not of the level that a Red Bull driver should have.

“He’s getting worse, even though they keep trying to help him.”

Villeneuve then claimed Albon is given so much leniency by Red Bull because of the Thai-based Yoovidhya family, who co-owns the company with Dietrich Mateschitz.

“He is only there through his passport because they own half of the company and that’s why he is protected,” he added.