Verstappen: No reason for Red Bull to swap Albon for Vettel
Max Verstappen highlighted Alex Albon’s talent and collaboration with Red Bull, insisting the team should keep the British-Thai racer on board amid assumptions that Sebastian Vettel could return to the Milton Keynes outfit in the future.
The announcement of Vettel’s departure from Ferrari at the end of the current season has left the German with little options for 2021.
Yet, Vettel said on Thursday that he would be interested in renewing an association with Red Bull, the team for which he won all four of his world titles.
Indeed, even Verstappen said he would have no problems racing alongside the German when asked about a potential return of the latter to Red Bull during an interview with Servus TV earlier this week.
Vettel reveals talks with Renault – open to Red Bull return
But the Dutchman insists he was merely being respectful towards Vettel who was sitting next to him on the TV show’s set.
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“I was on the TV show on Monday, I was sitting next to Seb and I got this question,” Verstappen said, quoted by Racer.
“I was just trying to be polite and nice by saying I could imagine it. I think at the moment the team is happy with both of us, and I have to say I’m really happy with Alex as a teammate.
“He’s a really nice guy in the team which is good for everyone.
“He’s good with set-up, so we both give good feedback to the team, and he’s a fast guy, so I don’t think there’s any reason to change.
“I think Christian [Horner] and Helmut [Marko] can back that up. It’s also not up to me at the end of the day to decide these things.”
Assessing last weekend’s coming together between Albon and Lewis Hamilton in the closing stages of the Austrian Grand Prix, Verstappen said his teammate was bold but right to go for it against the Mercedes driver on the outside of Spielberg’s Turn 4.
And the stewards were right to hand a five-second penalty to Hamilton for nudging Albon into a costly spin.
“I think it was a great move of Alex to go round the outside there, not many people do that, but it was cool to see,” Verstappen commented.
“Even though I shouldn’t have seen that, but I was chilling in my driver room already!”
“I think it’s quite normal to give that penalty and we were told not to look at the consequence of it.
“That’s the unfortunate part afterwards, because of course it ruined Alex’s race, but from my side he got a penalty, finished fourth, but Alex got penalized the most by losing so many positions.”
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