Red Bull has dashed Pierre Gasly's hopes of an immediate return to the senior team.
The Frenchman is therefore open about wanting to return to Red Bull Racing, but for now team chiefs are staunchly supporting Alex Albon.
"You think back to some of the great drivers, whether it's a Schumacher or a Senna, and being the driver alongside those guys was very tough," team boss Christian Horner said.
"I think it's a similar situation with that seat alongside Max at the moment, but Alex is only going to get better. He's still pretty young and inexperienced and we're doing all we can to support and develop him."
And so Horner delivered Gasly's bad news: "We have no intention of putting Pierre back in the car at Red Bull this season.
"He's doing a great job at Alpha Tauri," he told Canal Plus, "and of course we're seeing his progress because we have a lot of information about how he's developing and performing."