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Albon replaces Gasly at Red Bull

NEWS STORY
12/08/2019

Red Bull will feature a new driver line-up from the Belgian Grand Prix onwards, as Alexander Albon is being promoted to drive alongside Max Verstappen, while Pierre Gasly will return to Scuderia Toro Rosso.

According to a very brief statement: "Red Bull are in the unique position of having four talented Formula One drivers under contract who can be rotated between Aston Martin Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso.

The Team will use the next nine races to evaluate Alex's performance in order to make an informed decision as to who will drive alongside Max in 2020.

Everyone at Aston Martin Red Bull Racing looks forward to welcoming Alex to the Team and supporting him during the next phase of his F1 career."

The news follows repeated claims by both team boss, Christian Horner and Red Bull motor sport consultant, Helmut Marko that Gasly's seat was secure for the remainder of the season.

That said, the Frenchman has been hugely disappointing and only last week Horner admitted his frustration.

"We need him to be racing Ferraris and Mercedes," said the Briton, "and everything we can do to help him to achieve that is what we will do."

Asked if the Frenchman could still save his seat, Horner said: "I think he really needs to take some time out during the summer break, reflect on the first half of the season and take the lessons from that into the second half of the year.

"It's vital for us if we are to stand any chance of catching Ferrari that we have him finishing further ahead," he added. "Our intention is to leave him the car until the end of the year. But we desperately need to see him realising more of the potential of the car."

As for Albon, who has impressed from the outset, the move up to Red Bull just twelve races into his F1 career must be seen as a poisoned chalice, for while the youngster is still learning he will be thrown in at the deep end at a team which is not known for its patience.

After 12 rounds, Gasly has 63 points to Verstappen's 181, a best finish of 12th to his teammate's two wins and three other podiums, a best qualifying performance of fourth while the Dutchman claimed pole in Hungary.

Furthermore, while Verstappen has scored points in every race, and, along with Lewis Hamilton is the only driver to have completed every racing lap of the season thus far, Gasly has scored points in just nine of the races.

The lack of comments from either Horner or Albon in the announcement, though no doubt connected to the fact that both are now on the mandatory summer break, suggest that that the decision was somewhat spontaneous.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by TokyoAussie, 13/08/2019 4:22

"Has Horner checked into a hospital with whiplash? I can certainly feel it."

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by Bill Hopgood, 12/08/2019 19:46

"All the best for Albon.
I wonder if Red Bull had a crack at bringing Alonso in?
I mean, he could have some time on his hands.
On a positive note for Gasley, he is still in F1 (and Red Bull have him more of a shot than his team mate last year) and has a chance to pull it all together. He just has to keep his head in the game and use this as a super motivation rather than a kick in the..."

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3. Posted by Spartacus, 12/08/2019 17:42

"At this point I am not sure what the Redbull staff was expecting of Gasly this far into the season. Also what they are expecting of Albon as well? Development? Support driver? The best driver lineup are two that can complement, support and push when needed. If a driver is not driving that well and the faster car (in a team race scenario.) should be allowed to pass and pursue or create a gap. The two race directors should be the one's calling the shots. When the racing is close, HAAS has shown how not to allow your drivers to act. I think back to all the compromised races with two team mates. ALO/HAM, VET/WEB, HAM/ROS, GRO/MAG come to mind, many others as well. I hope Albon is able to show some great qualifying speed and race pace. I had hopes for Gasly but he wasn't even close with a comparable car. Funny how these other teams the drivers were close in qualifying and race but with Gasly being back in 9th or 13th, or rear ending a car into a corner late in a race just doesn't cut it."

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4. Posted by Anthony, 12/08/2019 16:17

"Oh dear... relatively inexperienced driver pitched against Max, what could possibly go wrong!"

Rating: Positive (2)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

5. Posted by Barslug, 12/08/2019 15:55

"In the words of Ron Burgundy “Wow, that escalated quickly”! Hope he delivers. "

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6. Posted by klmn, 12/08/2019 15:34

"Gasly looked fast but was not .
Will be the same if Ocon would replace Bottas in 2020 . Ocon is also disaster. "

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7. Posted by Nortim, 12/08/2019 14:59

"Really? And if it doesn't work, as they imagined, what then? Maybe Kvyat would be better choice for collecting points. From no seat in F1 at the end of the last year to Torro Rosso at last moment and now to Red Bull at mid season... Let's hope this kid can do well. "

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8. Posted by mickl, 12/08/2019 13:54

"@Motorsport-fan yeah, get a job at Ferrari"

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9. Posted by Motorsport-fan, 12/08/2019 13:03

"At least Daniil Kvyat will be able to give him plenty of advice on how to cope with the demotion."

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