Red Bull motorsport boss Helmut Marko laid the blame for Alex Albon’s disappointing performance in Barcelona last week on his new race engineer, Simon Rennie.

Rennie was added to Albon’s crew ahead of the British Grand Prix precisely to help the British-Thai racer in his struggles to extract more speed from his RB16.

Albon has consistently been outpaced this season by Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen. And although both drivers have complained of the temperamental behaviour of this year’s RB16, Albon has not been able to make the most of the car, contrary to the Dutchman.

    Horner: It’s not all making sense for Albon at the moment

Red Bull subsequently decided to replace Albon’s regular race engineer Mike Lugg with the experienced Rennie.

But in Spain, the latter’s strategy call was lambasted by Marko after the Red Bull driver, who had qualified sixth, crossed the checkered flag a distant eighth, 55 seconds adrift from Verstappen, his efforts impacted by a first pit stop that saw Albon released in heavy midfield traffic.

“The performance in Barcelona including the strategy is on the head of his race engineer,” Marko told SpeedWeek. “Alex looked stupid, but it was not because of his fault.”

Despite the underperformance, Marko denied Albon’s seat at Red Bull was under threat.

“It was his worst race, but as long as he keeps progressing, he is out of that discussion.”

However, the same may not be said of AlphaTauri’s Daniil Kvyat whose performances year to date have not impressed Marko.

“Yes, Daniil isn’t performing as we expected,” Marko told Austrian newspaper Salzburger Nachrichten. “But we are still just before the halfway point of the season.”

Still, that’s a clear yellow car for the Russian charger.

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