SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Red Bull will decide after next month’s Mexican Grand Prix whether to partner Max Verstappen with Alexander Albon or Pierre Gasly in 2020, motorsport head Helmut Marko said on Saturday.
The Austrian, a close advisor to team owner Dietrich Mateschitz, said Russian Daniil Kvyat would remain with sister team Toro Rosso next season.
Verstappen, a double race winner this season, is confirmed at Red Bull.
“We will make our evaluation after Mexico,” Marko told Sky Sports television.
“Also Kvyat is confirmed for next year already, or at least internally it’s clear. Then it’s between Gasly and Albon (for Red Bull).”
It would be a surprise now if Albon did not retain the Red Bull seat.
The British-born Thai rookie started the season with Toro Rosso but has enjoyed a rapid rise and took the under-performing Frenchman’s place at Honda-powered Red Bull from the Belgian Grand Prix in August.
He has impressed in his two races with them and Toro Rosso team boss Franz Tost told Reuters at this month’s Italian Grand Prix that he was not expecting Albon to return to him after the end of the season.
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner made clear on Friday that the choice was between Red Bull’s existing contracted drivers rather than anyone from outside, such as Nico Hulkenberg.
“Nico isn’t on our list,” Horner told reporters when asked about the German, who is looking for a 2020 drive after being replaced at Renault.
Gasly started out at Toro Rosso in 2017 and did a full season with that team in 2018 before being promoted to Red Bull as replacement for Australian Daniel Ricciardo who joined Renault.
The Mexican Grand Prix is the 18th round of the 21 race championship on Oct 27.
Writing by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Ed Osmond