Red Bull finds Wolff interference over Albon 'slightly unusual'

Red Bull boss Christian Horner thinks it ‘slightly unusual’ that Mercedes Formula 1 boss Toto Wolff is trying to influence Williams’ choice over Alex Albon next year.

Red Bull finds Wolff interference over Albon 'slightly unusual'

Albon is in talks with both Williams and Alfa Romeo for a race seat in 2022, with Red Bull eager to get the Thai driver back on the grid.

But although Williams is Albon's preferred option, the situation has hit a road block with Mercedes concerned that, if Albon ended up racing there, he could feed back information on its engines to his Red Bull bosses.

It comes with Red Bull starting its own power unit project from 2022, first running Honda engines while it ramps up efforts for the all-new rules concept from 2026 at the latest.

Wolff said over the Dutch Grand Prix that the only way he could accept Albon driving for Williams would be if Red Bull ended its contractual ties to the youngster.

That stipulation has not gone down well with Horner, who does not understood why Wolff is getting involved – and says he is confident Williams will be able to decide by itself who it wants to take.

PLUS: Why Williams now holds the power in Formula 1 silly season

“It's slightly unusual,” said Horner about the prospect of a manufacturer like Mercedes being able to steer a customer team on its driver choices.

“Obviously it's a huge influence, but I'm assured that Williams choose the drivers that they wish to drive in their car, and that they don't have restrictions.”

Alexander Albon, Red Bull Racing RB15

Alexander Albon, Red Bull Racing RB15

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

Horner said that Red Bull’s key focus was on getting Albon a race seat, and he felt it could still happen without it needing to sever ties with him.

“Maybe we don't,” he explained. “We've had very productive discussions with Williams and with Alfa, and I expect the situation to hopefully be resolved in the next week or so.

“Obviously we want to see Alex racing next year. We rate him highly. I think we're close to finding a solution. Hopefully Alex will be back on the grid next year and, behind the scenes, we're doing everything we can to make sure that happens.”

While Mercedes has expressed reservations about Albon gaining knowledge of its engine, Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto is clear that he would not step in to prevent him driving for customer team Alfa Romeo.

“I believe that whatever is happening between the team and the driver, it is between the team and driver,” he said. “As manufacturers, we should not influence that.

“If a driver has an opportunity to drive and the team is happy to give him a seat, then they should give him a seat.” 

shares
comments

Related video

AlphaTauri retains Gasly and Tsunoda for F1 2022
Previous article

AlphaTauri retains Gasly and Tsunoda for F1 2022

Next article

George Russell to drive for Mercedes F1 team in 2022

George Russell to drive for Mercedes F1 team in 2022
Load comments
How Ferrari gained a new edge over McLaren in the best-of-the-rest F1 2021 battle Plus

How Ferrari gained a new edge over McLaren in the best-of-the-rest F1 2021 battle

Supremacy in the McLaren vs Ferrari fight over third place in the constructors’ championship has ebbed and flowed between the two teams so far in the 2021 Formula 1 season. But for several key reasons, right now it seems the advantage has swung decisively back to the Scuderia and McLaren knows it.

The 70s US superteam that tried and failed to crack F1 Plus

The 70s US superteam that tried and failed to crack F1

Vel’s Parnelli Jones Racing was briefly one of the biggest names on the US motorsports scene, but its ambition outstripped its resources. STUART CODLING relates the story of a Formula 1 campaign cut off in its prime

Formula 1
Oct 26, 2021
The key details that boosted Red Bull and held back Hamilton in Verstappen’s USA victory Plus

The key details that boosted Red Bull and held back Hamilton in Verstappen’s USA victory

As the 2021 Formula 1 title battle winds towards its climax, the United States GP added another thrilling act in the Lewis Hamilton-Max Verstappen battle. Although Hamilton aced the start, Verstappen and Red Bull took the initiative with strategy and were richly rewarded, despite Mercedes' best efforts as the race went down to the wire

Formula 1
Oct 25, 2021
US Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

US Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a baking hot afternoon at the returning Circuit of the Americas, Formula 1 drivers were tested to their limits. As the pressure on the title contending squads reaches an ever-greater level of intensity, the foremost challengers again showed their class, but were outshone by a standout drive from the upper midfield

Formula 1
Oct 25, 2021
Why F1's misunderstood party animal will thrive in retirement Plus

Why F1's misunderstood party animal will thrive in retirement

Three years on from Kimi Raikkonen's last Grand Prix victory at Austin, he is now six races away from ending the longest Formula 1 career in history. His friend and former Ice1 Racing rally team PR man ANTHONY PEACOCK explains why there’s nobody quite like the 2007 world champion and why F1 will miss him (but he won’t miss it)

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Plus

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material Plus

Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material

As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull Plus

How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull

Mercedes has been on a roll of late in the ultra-tight fight to win the 2021 Formula 1 world championship. It started off well in practice at Austin for this weekend’s US Grand Prix, but Red Bull got closer as Friday unfolded and even seemed to find an edge in one critical area of what seems set to be another close contest

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021