Nico Hulkenberg (Getty Images)
Jos Verstappen says that if he was running Red Bull, Nico Hulkenberg would replace Alex Albon and become his son Max’s team mate in 2021.
Max Verstappen recently admitted – twice – that he would like to be paired at the team with Hulkenberg next year.
“It can only be three drivers – Albon, Hulkenberg or (Sergio) Perez,” father Jos Verstappen told the Peptalk program on Ziggo Sport.
“I have the same preference as Max,” the Dutchman smiled.
Verstappen senior argues that struggling British-born Thai driver Albon is not performing well enough to keep the seat into 2021.
“At the moment, no,” he said.
“Max does need a strong teammate – the last race would have gone differently for a start. If his team mate had been behind Hamilton, he could have come in earlier than he had to and the cards would have been shuffled differently.
“With a good teammate you also get better data in practice,” Verstappen, 48, continued. “If you have two drivers who can go their separate ways, you get more information that way.”
The Verstappen camp admitted long ago that Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton cannot be beaten for the 2020 title, so now the focus is on 2021 – but no further ahead than that.
“We look at it from year to year,” Jos Verstappen admitted.
“There will be new opportunities next year, but the car and engine need to be improved. There will be a new engine next season, which is already better than the current one, so that’s positive. But the competition doesn’t stand still, of course,” he said.
“We will have to wait until we have the new car but it’s been a difficult season. We’ve dropped our four times – three times in Italy, once in Austria.
“However, we do notice that we are getting closer to the competition. The last race was particularly exciting so hopefully we will have a better car next year so that Max has a chance to fight for the championship.”
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