• Alex Albon could be replaced ahead of the 2021 Formula 1 season.
• Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg are likely candidates for the seat.
• Max Verstappen could also depart Red Bull for Mercedes.
• For more motoring stories, go to www.Wheels24.co.za
Red Bull is no longer ruling out replacing Alex Albon.
Until very recently, the energy drink-owned marque has been strongly backing the British-born Thai driver amid calls for him to be replaced. But now, top drivers Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg are on the market, just as Albon's recent improvement hit a snag with a poor outing at Sochi.
Dr Helmut Marko, the architect of Red Bull's notorious driver program, told Speed Week when asked about Perez and Hulkenberg's candidatures: "If Alex Albon performs well, he stays. If not, there will be a deliberation.
"We would then see which good drivers are on the market. But that's not an issue at the moment."
Also possible is that, in light of Honda's shock decision to quit Formula 1, Red Bull might also be needing to fill Max Verstappen's cockpit.
However, former F1 driver Christijan Albers doubts that.
He told De Telegraaf: "As long as Hamilton continues to drive for Mercedes, I see no opportunity for Verstappen to go there. Not because Max doesn't want it, because he wouldn't care, but because Lewis Hamilton would never allow it."