Helmut Marko happy with Albon and Red Bull juniors

Helmut Marko says that he’s happy with the performances of Alex Albon and the state of Red Bull’s Young Driver Programme in general.

Albon has been criticised by many so far in 2020 for failing to get anywhere near team-mate Max Verstappen in the opening six races.

While the Dutchman has one win and 95 points to his name, while Albon has just 40 points and has yet to stand on the podium.

Given this, there have been rumours that Red Bull, notoriously ruthless with under-performing drivers, will look to demote the Thai driver.

However, Marko says he has no concerns about Albon’s performances.

“Albon’s performances are perceived worse than they are in reality,” he told Autosport.

“In Barcelona, we went too far in terms of setup in our attempt to give him a more stable rear end. No matter what type of tyre he had on, hard, medium or soft, after eight laps we had temperatures outside the [operating] window. So he just slipped around. His qualifying was better.

“And what is completely overlooked is that in both Silverstone races, he was the fastest man in the second stint – faster than Verstappen.

“He also proved at the Red Bull Ring that when he gets into his rhythm, he’s absolutely fast.”

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Red Bull is renowned for producing some of the best drivers in the sport through their Young Driver Programme. However, with no race winners coming through since Verstappen, there are claims that their talent pool is drying up, and that they should start to sign those outside of it. 

Marko though, has no intentions of doing so, stating that he’s pleased with how junior drivers are doing in the feeder categories.

“So far, we have stuck to our principle. For example, we didn’t take [Fernando] Alonso when it would have been possible,” he added.

“Instead, we have always promoted our juniors and gone our own way. And [Sebastian] Vettel, Verstappen and [Daniel] Ricciardo won Grand Prix races. So it is a successful path. With Verstappen, we have a truly exceptional talent.

“It has been written that there are no more new juniors, but we have Yuki Tsunoda, who is doing great in his first year in Formula 2. He had two technical failures. Without them, he would have as many points as [Robert] Schwartzman.

“We have [Liam] Lawson in Formula 3, who retired three times with a technical failure and is still in third place. We have good people there who will come through.

“Why should we suddenly go away from our philosophy just because somewhere a good man doesn’t have a cockpit?”

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