“We were looking for an interim solution”- Helmut Marko reveals why George Russell was snubbed to replace Alex Albon at Red Bull.
George Russell is among the most talented youngsters on the grid, and with a perfect car, he certainly can make a huge influence, as he saw it at the Sakhir Grand Prix with a Mercedes car.
Amidst the rumours of Alex Albon being axed from Red Bull, Russell was linked with the Austrian side. However, Helmut Marko dismissed all these claims and declared that the Briton was never a contender to take the seat.
“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 further said that he believes Russell is a spectacular talent, but he also wants to avoid relying on his just performance at Bahrain, where Valtteri Bottas was atrociously bad.
“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.”
Showering praises on Yuki Tsunoda
One more reason for not pursuing Russell could be that Red Bull itself has a vast pool of talented young drivers, who are hungry to represent the primary team, Yuki Tsunoda, another Red Bull product has joined that race by being appointed at Alpha Tauri for 2021.
“Tsunoda was the only Formula 2 driver who continuously finished in the top five in every race,” Marko 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.”