SEPTEMBER 18, 2020
Doesn't matter if Albon stays or goes says Verstappen
Max Verstappen says he doesn't mind if Red Bull sticks with Alex Albon - or not.
Since replacing the similarly underperforming Pierre Gasly mid last year, Albon has been coming under increasing pressure alongside Verstappen.
Team boss Christian Horner, though, says his podium at Mugello will be a "turbocharger" for his confidence.
"I really hope this opens the doors for him confidence-wise, and that he walks tall as he deserves his seat and his place in F1," he said of Albon.
For his part, Verstappen says he has no opinion as to whether Albon stays or goes.
"Helmut Marko and Christian Horner have been saying for a long time that they don't want to change anything. That's ok from my side," he told the Austrian broadcaster ORF.
"In the end, it doesn't matter who sits next to me. I would beat all of them."
Some believe the best solution for Red Bull, having lost Daniel Ricciardo to Renault, would be hiring another more experienced driver like Sergio Perez.
But Verstappen says he doesn't need that personally.
"Maybe I needed that in the first year," said the Dutchman. "But now I understand quite well what I have to do. In the end, it doesn't matter who is sitting next to me."
In the same interview, Verstappen admitted his championship hopes for 2020 are "over".
The 22-year-old had even said after Mugello that he was "sick" of his repeat Honda-related technical problems, triggering speculation he may try to get out of his contract after 2021.
Horner says Verstappen's frustration is "totally understandable".
"If Max did not have that hunger, he would not be the driver he is and the one that we all want to watch fight for victories each weekend," he said.
"He has to get it out of his system now and then look forward. We will go through it with him prior to Sochi and discuss what has been done behind the scenes between Honda and the team to help so it is rectified for the next race."