Red Bull driver-maker-or-breaker Helmut Marko has shed light on his decision to demote Pierre Gasly from the senior team back to Toro Rosso and replacing him with rookie Alex Albon.
While Gasly’s fate came as no surprise, Albon’s promotion ahead of Daniil Kvyat is what rocked the F1 world since the announcement was made.
With data at his disposal, Marko, the main decision-maker when it comes to Red Bull’s drivers, told Auto Bild that Albon has had a “great debut season” so far and added “he has squeezed everything from his car.”
Gasly, on the other hand, “has problems in traffic because he loses places and doesn’t like to overtake” according to the Red Bull official.
He added, “We had to react and give Albon the chance until the end of the season. Gasly takes over at Toro Rosso and then we will see who is next to Max next year.”
RMC Sport claims Gasly was told about his dumping while on holiday mere hours before the news was made public. The source added that the Frenchman had a difficult relationship with his engineers.
Reacting to the news. Verstappen told De Telegraaf, “Of course it’s a pity for Pierre, but personally I don’t care who my teammate is. The point is that we perform better with the other car and gain more points for the team.”
And with the new Red Bull lineup, Marko said he is confident, “This year we built a car with less downforce as we underestimated Honda’s progress. We didn’t expect such a powerful engine.”
“But now we have fixed everything and are now close to Mercedes and definitely faster than Ferrari. I think we will be competitive everywhere in the second half of the season,” added the Austrian.
Clearly Red Bull are giving Albon a chance to show what he has got if given the keys to the RB15. They already know what Kvyat is capable of, so the next nine races will determine if the Thai driver has what it takes to slot in beside Verstappen.
Big Question: How will Alex measure up to Max?