Helmut Marko says “psychological problems” caused Pierre Gasly to lose his Red Bull seat or the remaining nine races of 2019, the Frenchman will swap places with Toro Rosso rookie Alex Albon.
Red Bull’s driver manager believes that Gasly struggled with the pressure of life at a top team and told Auto Sport Web, “I thought Gasly was mentally strong but the best explanation for his crisis are psychological problems.
“Until this season, Pierre had good racing and qualifying pace, and no problems with overtaking. But this year, he showed none of those qualities. He also felt responsible for the accidents in the tests, so that was already on his mind even before the start of the season,” he added.
Finally, Marko defended Red Bull’s driver development programme, even though he admitted the steady stream of talent seems to have dried up for now, “Now we are working on the next talents to come through.
“I was the first to create a driver training system like this. Ferrari and Mercedes just copied. I am proud that the systems works very well. When you look at the drivers we have had, it is obvious that it is successful,” he added.
With regards to the unexpected promotion of the Thai driver over the alternative Daniil Kvyat because he felt the rookie was a better prospect, “I don’t think he will be a second Gasly.”
“When we put him [Albon] there, we did not expect him to have the speed that he has in fact shown race by race. No one knows who will be Verstappen’s teammate next year, so Albon has the opportunity to perform and develop without any pressure in these nine races,” concluded Marko.