Red Bull team principal Christian Horner is hopeful Alexander Albon’s contract with the team won’t prevent him joining Williams next season.Albon must be released from his contract in order to join their engine customer next season. Wolff’s stance is “slightly unusual” but a “huge influence” said Horner when asked about the situation by RaceFans.
“But I’m assured that Williams choose the drivers that they wish to drive in the car and they don’t have restrictions,” he added.
Albon has had interest from Williams and Alfa Romeo over a 2022 seat. Asked whether Red Bull would have to release Albon from his contract to join Williams, Horner said: “Maybe we don’t. 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.”
“I think his preference would be Williams,” Horner added. “But it’s great that there’s interest in him and I think it would be good to see him in back in a race seat.”
Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto said manufacturers should not try to exert influence over their customer teams as to which drivers they select.
“I believe that whatever is happening between a team and a driver that’s between the team and a driver and as manufacturers, we should not influence,” he said. “I think that would be wrong.
“If a driver has got an opportunity to drive he should simply have an opportunity to drive, wherever it is coming from and if the team is happy to give him a seat, they need to give him a seat. That’s it.”
The Sauber-run Alfa Romeo team’s choice of driver line-up, including the presence of Ferrari Driver Academy member Antonio Giovinazzi, had not been directed by their engine supplier, said Binotto.
“Ferrari have never a word on the ‘Ferrari seat’ on Alfa,” he said. “It was a contact between Alfa Romeo, so it was a right of the sponsor Alfa Romeo on the Sauber car.”
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