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Marko: Mexico deadline for 2020 F1 line-up "a mistake"

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Marko: Mexico deadline for 2020 F1 line-up "a mistake"
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Co-author: Christian Nimmervoll
Oct 30, 2019, 5:17 PM

Red Bull says it is now in no rush to decide who will partner Max Verstappen next year, after admitting calendar confusion prompted it to say a call would be made after the Mexican GP.

Last month, Red Bull's motorsport advisor Helmut Marko said a decision on which of its drivers would take the second Red Bull seat in 2020 would be made after this year's Mexico race.

But with that event having now passed, Marko has confessed that his original date target was an error because he had not realised at the time that its slot in the calendar had been switched around with the United States.

"It was a mistake of mine to say that," Marko told Motorsport.com. "I had in mind that Mexico would take place after the USA. Actually, it's the other way around.

"But in the meantime, we have confirmed that all three drivers will stay in our teams. Max's situation is clear anyway. Now we're in no hurry for when we decide who will drive in which team."

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Favourite for the place alongside Verstappen is Alex Albon, who has impressed during his step up from Toro Rosso since the Belgian Grand Prix.

With Albon having outscored his Dutch teammate since the summer break, Marko says that the Thai driver's pace since the Japanese GP has been up there too, which makes him a good candidate to stay.

Asked about Verstappen pushing for a fast teammate, Marko said: "He [Max] is a strong driver. He can afford to have a strong driver next to him. But Albon has shown since Suzuka that he can be almost as fast as Max."

Marko is also clear that Red Bull will not be looking outside its current tally of drivers for seats at its two teams, with Daniil Kvyat and Pierre Gasly therefore likely to stay at Toro Rosso.

"[It's] only the three. That's what we always said. All these drivers have contracts with Red Bull Racing, with the clause that Red Bull Racing can decide where they drive."

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Series Formula 1
Teams Red Bull Racing Shop Now
Author Jonathan Noble