Red Bull Motorsport Advisor Helmut Marko and AlphaTauri Team Principal Franz Tost have piled the pressure on the Nyck de Vries after a dismal Austrian Grand Prix qualifying.
Marko spoke in public about his displeasure with de Vries' performance since joining Formula 1, indicating that Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner was not in favour of signing him for AlphaTauri.
Tost offered more sympathy during Friday's FIA Team Principal's press conference, believing the run of tracks, including circuits de Vries had never raced at before, contributed to his tricky start.
But after the Dutchman qualified 20th and last for Red Bull's home race, the pressure on de Vries has been ramped up.
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de Vries under pressure
"It started [reasonably in Qualifying]," Marko told ORF.
"Unfortunately, with the track limits and these sorts of things, I expected both drivers at least in Q2, but it didn't happen.
"We must have a close look at what we do in the future."
As for Tost, he believes that the "driver decides by himself" whether he should keep the seat by performing on track.
"If he shows a good performance, if he scores points, and we see that he can have a successful future, then we do not discuss a replacement," Tost said.
"But of course, he has to show performance."
Both Daniel Ricciardo, the Red Bull third driver, and Liam Lawson - the next driver in line through the junior programme - have been touted as replacements for de Vries should Marko elect to make a change mid-season.
In 2019, Pierre Gasly was dumped during the summer break from the senior team, and swapped with Alexander Albon, while Max Verstappen was swapped in for Danill Kvyat at Red Bull after four races of the 2016 season.