Russell never on Red Bull F1's radar to replace Albon - Marko

Red Bull says that George Russell’s close ties to Mercedes meant he was never on its radar as a replacement for Alex Albon.

Russell never on Red Bull F1's radar to replace Albon - Marko
Listen to this article

With Red Bull having been open that it would look outside its current pool of drivers if Albon did not deliver what it wanted, Sergio Perez ultimately ended up landing the second Red Bull seat for 2021.

However, Russell would have been an obvious contender based on his pure speed after showing at the Sakhir Grand Prix that he had the pace to win when he stood in for Lewis Hamilton.

Reflecting on the candidates that Red Bull evaluated as it came to its decision on 2021 drivers, its motorsport advisor Helmut Marko said that Russell was never even considered.

“No,” he said in an exclusive interview with Motorsport.com.

“He has a ten-year contract with Toto Wolff. He is a Mercedes junior. We were looking for an interim solution for one year. Perez is the much better option there."

Marko said that there was no doubt that Russell is a good driver, but he questioned about making too much of his star showing in the Sakhir GP because he felt it was a weekend where Valtteri Bottas under performed.

“Russell is an intelligent and fast young man,” added Marko. “His Mercedes effort was great. But at the same time, it was marked by such uncertainty from Bottas that it wasn't really a valid comparison. Bottas put together such crap from the first lap on Friday, that he was way below his normal level."

Tsunoda praise

As well as making the decision to hand Perez a Red Bull seat, Marko was instrumental in making the call to promote Yuki Tsunoda from F2 into AlphaTauri.

Marko is full of praise for what the Japanese did in his rookie F2 campaign, and says good things are expected of him in F1 next year.

"Tsunoda was the only Formula 2 driver who continuously finished in the top five in every race,” he said. “It was only because of technical defects and a few crashes that he failed to win the championship. And that in his rookie year.

“He is characterised by an incredible basic speed and a very, very quick grasp and learning phase. If you looked in the last few races, he held back at the beginning of the races until everything was half sorted, he spared his tyres and then he attacked. That was a super mix between being aggressive and driving with his head."

Read Also:

shares
comments

Related video

F1 could become battleground of energy, says Renault
Previous article

F1 could become battleground of energy, says Renault

Next article

Todt: Hamilton's F1 dominance bigger than Schumacher's

Todt: Hamilton's F1 dominance bigger than Schumacher's
How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Prime

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Motorsport.com in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi.

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Prime

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Prime

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon Prime

The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s teammate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy Prime

How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Prime

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Prime

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second-best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot.

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Prime

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022