Alexander Albon, Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso, Hockenheimring, 2019

Why Red Bull gave Gasly’s seat to Albon instead of Kvyat

2019 team mate battles: Kvyat vs Albon

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Until the German Grand Prix, no Toro Rosso driver had stood on the podium since Sebastian Vettel’s delirious, improbably victory at Monza in 2008, a result which catapulted him into the top team and on to championship success.

Finally in Hockenheim two weeks ago Daniil Kvyat grabbed his chance to end Toro Rosso’s wait for a podium finish. A brave gamble on slick tyres late in the race yielded a fine third place. It was a redemptive result for the driver who’d endured being dropped first by Red Bull in 2016 and then by Toro Rosso the following season.

And yet, when Red Bull came looking for a short-notice replacement for the drastically under-performing Pierre Gasly, they passed over the experienced and seemingly matured and refined Kvyat in favour of his far less experienced team mate.

Why did Red Bull choose Alexander Albon over Kvyat? Their performances so far this season make an interesting comparison.

Since returning to Toro Rosso, Kvyat has surpassed Jean-Eric Vergne as the longest-serving Toro Rosso driver of all time in terms of races started. But for a driver with aspirations of returning to the top team, he hasn’t been consistently out-performing his much less experienced team mate by the kind of margin he needed to.

Albon had never driven an F1 car until he shook down Toro Rosso’s STR14 at Misano shortly before pre-season testing began. Some errors were therefore to be expected early on and he duly suffered an enormous shunt in China which ruled him out of qualifying. But over the other 11 races, Albon has marginally held the upper hand.

Nor has Kvyat been error-free. The same weekend he tangled with the McLaren drivers at the start, earning himself a penalty.

Kvyat has brought the STR14 home ahead more regularly. But as Albon has gained experience there has been a discernible swing towards the younger driver. This has been most noticeable in the qualifying score line.

In the races, Albon has usually trailed Kvyat. In Hungary he probably would have finished behind his team mate, who muscled past him early on, had Kvyat not fallen into the same strategic trap as Verstappen and suffered when his tyres hit ‘the cliff’ at the end of the race. That would have been Kvyat’s third consecutive finish in front of Albon.

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That brings us to the unusual case of Germany. While Kvyat’s result was extraordinary, Albon’s performance was arguably even more impressive, especially for a driver in his first wet F1 race. Albon ran fourth before the Safety Car period where Lance Stroll and Kvyat made their race-deciding early switched to slick tyres. Kvyat had been ninth at the time, and had a lot less to lose than his team mate by gambling. That was the decision that made his race.

Daniil Kvyat, Alexander Albon, Toro Rosso, Hockenheimring, 2019
Albon impressed but Kvyat delivered in Germany
Certainly Kvyat deserved the credit and the result. But what Red Bull are looking for is the driver who is the better prospect, not necessarily the one with the larger points total.

Inevitably Kvyat’s result prompted questions as to whether a Red Bull return was on the cards. He didn’t leap at the chance to press his case (“I think this kind of thing is decided by the management of Red Bull”) but said the podium was a vindication of the progress he’s made following a year on the sidelines.

“I think it was important to realise the points that you can improve as a driver and as a person before my comeback to Formula 1,” he said. “Obviously it wasn’t easy to lose the seat in the Formula 1 and at some point it was thought that there was no way back in for me. But since I got the call back in, it was important to come back very prepared and better mentally prepared as well.

“Now all this work is paying off and I’m very happy with how things are working out. I’m happy with the people around me, the team around me, how we work on things. It’s important that now I feel a much better driver than I was in the past. It’s also very important also to back this up with strong results. This year in general has been strong and I think we can continue in this way. I’m really enjoying this, so hopefully we can keep going.”

It’s hard to imagine that, had Kvyat conclusively beaten Albon in a manner which reflected the gulf in experience between the two, Red Bull would have brought him back. In that respect, this has to be considered a missed opportunity.

Equally, while Albon’s performance has been the more impressive given his experience, and individual races such as Hockenheim have been very strong, he hasn’t always looked like a driver deserving of a promotion to a top team. It gives the impression Red Bull concluded Gasly was so far off Verstappen’s they simply had to try an alternative. The question now is whether Albon can thrive in the environment Gasly didn’t.

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Kvyat vs Albon: Key stats

Kvyat vs Albon: Who finished ahead at each round

AUS BAH CHI AZE SPA MON CAN FRA AUT GRE GER HUN
Daniil Kvyat Q
R
Alexander Albon Q
R

Kvyat vs Albon: Qualifying gap

Times based on the last qualifying round at each race weekend in which both drivers set a time

2019 F1 season

Browse all 2019 F1 season articles

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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76 comments on “Why Red Bull gave Gasly’s seat to Albon instead of Kvyat”

  1. I’m almost neither here not there on which of them they decided to promote; just glad that they’ve done something, as Gasly was showing no signs of improving.

    Kvyat offers perhaps a more experienced and solid package and has seemingly added a layer of polish to his driving this year. When he left Red Bull he was unquestionably performing better than Gasly has been this season and was really pushed only to accommodate Verstappen (which proved to be a good call).

    Albon shows more potential; he’s younger, but does a lot of maturity for his youth.

    If it was me, I think I would have gone for Kvyat, drawing on the experience of his previous promotion and Gasly’s, both of which appear to have been too soon. In reality, I hope they give them both a chance over the coming races. If Albon can be a convincing 6th at the next few races and then start pressuring the Ferrari’s and get anywhere close to Max, it has to be seen as a success.

    1. Kvyat has been there and would have had enough of this. What is the chance that he asked for a contract at RBR a bit longer than the remaining of the season?

      On Gasly’s case, could it be that Hartley was not that good either and Gasly being him wasn’t that impressive. One could have the same kind of interrogation with Russell. How much is it down to the car or underperforming team mate…
      Would be great to have some insight on how teams evaluate drivers (except for simulators), and how much is known from the general public.

      1. @jeanrien – I agree, an interesting one. Driver ability is a very subjective discussion but I think after a few seasons/team-mates for comparison it becomes easier.

        Take Daniel Ricciardo for an example of how perception changes over time… when he was just edging Jean-Eric Vergne, few people were touting him as the next big thing. Then he blew Vettel away and everyone labelled him top tier. Then Kvyat came and he consolidated that a little more. Then Verstappen came and suddenly he wasn’t as good as we thought he was. Now he’s generally beating Hulkenberg but we just don’t hear about him as much. The same driver, just thought of totally differently because of how it looks at a given point in time.

        1. @ben-n Yeah fair comment. And lol ever as one to defend Vettel for 2014, I’ll take your last sentence and apply it to him for 2014 vs DR as well.

  2. An exciting opportunity for Albon that few get so early in their career.

    F2 2018 has turned out some exciting talent. George Russell must be looking toward Albon and Norris ruefully and hoping that Mercedes can help him get into a more competitive car sometime soon!

    1. Until now Merc has done little for Russell. Russell was the one who contacted Williams. As far as Merc concerns he was sidelined, and they gambled on Ocon.

    2. Opportunity??? Opportunity to shine yes definitely, But the bigger opportunity is for him to fail. In 1 year, Albon can go from Underrated, —> Shiny new object —> Promoted to the big time —> Discarded. I am really annoyed about this. I think it is massively unfair to Albon.

      I am sorry, but this is way too early to promote him. Leclerc and Verstappen were way better than Albon was at this point in their careers and both were shown wanting as they moved up the ranks. But the difference to them is that they were given more time to learn F1 before being put in the spotlight. And they have more talent.

      I am sorry. I like a fair bit of what I have seen from Albon this year. But RB are going to destroy is career. I can’t see how this can possibly end well for Albon.

      The last driver decision that RB made that had any sense attached to it was signing Verstappen. Since then, they have gone from one blunder to the next. They signed Verstappen 5 years ago. It’s time they started making decent driver decisions again. If they don’t start getting smarter, when (not if) Verstappen leaves, they will have no decent drivers left!

      1. @mickharrold It’s not like they have a crystal ball though. And imho I think not just we the fans but RBR themselves are not going to be too hard on Albon being put into this position mid-season. I don’t see them chastising Albon if he does little better than Gasly. I don’t think they even chastised Gasly. I think it is much more business-like and less personal than that. Albon has the advantage that at least the car has progressed this season. Gasly’s advantage was that he had the pre-season testing that Albon will have not had.

        You are assuming Albon can only fail and I don’t think that is the case and I don’t think RBR would put Albon there to do anything but try his best. I can envision that because they have little to lose in replacing Gasly with Albon for the second half of the season, they may or may not achieve second in the WCC, but they certainly must feel they are not going to do that with Gasly in spite of Max’s great form. This way they get to try Albon out, and for example they could always put Albon back at STR next year and promote Kvyat beside Max for 2020. Perhaps one could argue they already know what they have in Kvyat and they know he would bring something respectable, but why not take this opportunity to see what Albon can do and then they will have a better idea of the direction to take for 2020. Promote Kvyat now and they learn less about Albon’s potential and lock him into STR for at least one more season as presumably they’d need to keep Kvyat at RBR and not demote him yet again.

      2. Why are you assuming that Albon will fail?

        What if he excels? I cannot believe the anti RBR nonsense I have seen on these comments this week.

      3. I don’t get the whole idea that it’s too early to promote him.

        Most of these guys have been racing karts and/or cars since not long after they could walk. They’ve either won or come runner up in one or many feeder series to F1. By the time they hit F1, they’ve more than likely been racing for over a decade.

        What do you guys think F1 is? It’s not a training ground for inexperienced novices – it’s the big league and if you’re not ready to get straight into it and fight at the front, what’s the damn point?

        When you hit F1, it’s time to nut up or shut up.

        Good luck to Albon!

  3. Of course they chose Albon over Kvyat to replace Gasly. It is just a matter of simple math.

    33 – 10 = 23, not 26.

    1. Clever :)

      1. Albon got to choose his number well after Gasly was confirmed as a Red Bull driver.

        I wonder… Just coincidence, or did he do the math?

        1. (X-Files theme music plays as conspiracy intensifies)

          1. ;-)
            It really does not matter even if he did. But if I were him I’d never admit it.
            He comes across as a decent guy so I think it is just coincidence anyway.

    2. Great one Bart.

      44-77=negative, so that won’t happen.
      But maybe soon a 77-44=33

      Upon which RBR recalls Kvyat and let Albon go to hire an new/old #1:
      26-23=3

    3. Comment of the year :)

  4. I’m a bit sorry for Gasly, he showed a lot of potential last year, not only in comparison with Brendon Hartley, but overall. But being paired with the Max Verstappen who’s having his strongest season so far didn’t help him obviously, but the margin he was beaten by the Dutchman is just too much, true.
    For the short term, if Red Bull wants to steal away 2nd in the constructors from Ferrari, they would have opted for the experience and the safer hands of Kvyat I guess. For the long term, it sounds logical for them to want to measure if Albon can show more promise. If yes, the might have just won a stable driver for years. If not, they can still opt for Kvyat for the next season. On the other hand, as rumours are growing about the departure of Max Verstappen, Red Bull might need both Kvyat and Albon for the next season, and they already know Kvyat, so also logical to try the other guy.
    I just hope that the switch doesn’t destroy Gasly the way it did Kvyat back 2016.

    1. @andrewt gasly was too irregular and at times slower than Hartley, for a promotion kvyat’s original step up made more sense and obviously Max who was like hulk did in renault obliterating sainz jr.

      1. @peartree Thank you for responding! As for the Gasly vs Hartley comparison, well, they had about the same F1 experience, only a couple of races from the season before, the difference might have been that Hartley had a rich and versatile past in different other series, meanwhile Gasly did not. So for practically rookies, ups and downs in their first season is more than acceptable, but it seemed for me that the highs were higher for Gasly, and even a huge chunk of his points came from a sole 4th in Bahrain, he seemed like he held the upper hand throughout the season.
        Kvyat’s promotion seemed a bit early for me just after his rookie season, and although he showed promise, I would have preferred Vergne to join Ricciardo back then. Red Bull for some reason however doesn’t seem to want to pair drivers in the first team that were teammates at Toro Rosso. Nonetheless Kvyat performed quite reasonably in 2015 when Red Bull had a weaker package, and except for his carnage at the start of his home GP, he didn’t seem to perform that bad in the first couple of races in 2016, but it wasn’t really a question that Verstappen deserves a promotion sooner than later.

        1. @peartree Thank you for responding!

          Thank you, @andrewt. We need more commenters on here who are as polite as you.

    2. See, I think being partnered with Hartley actually flattered Gasly. His performances in isolation were inconsistent at best, with Bahrain being a massive outlier that too many people put too much emphasis on.

      This year only proved that he is just another Grosjean/K-Mag/Vandoorne, rather than a Leclerc or Verstappen.

      1. This doesn’t make Hartley look good, that’s for sure indeed.

    3. @andrewt I think, we can all ignore the departure-rumors altogether since he’s already contracted for next season, but other than that I agree with you in principle especially with the last phrase:
      ”I just hope that the switch doesn’t destroy Gasly the way it did Kvyat back 2016.”
      – Precisely what I’ve been thinking/pondering as well.

      1. @jerejj Although we have seen contracts overwritten by money in the past, I would happily ignore it too, because this Verstappen\Red Bull\Honda combination seems to be an exciting one and maybe the only one at the moment that is capable of giving a run to Mercedes for their money. I wouldn’t want to see him out, and wouldn’t want to see Red Bull left without a strong lead driver, that would be such a waste.
        And yes, I really hope that there is a way back for Gasly maybe in a couple of seasons, he’s just way too talented to be wasted, even if his performance and results weren’t really convincing this season.

  5. RBR must have done the math and decided to go ALL in for 2020. If they were looking into beating Ferrari for Second place this year they would get KVY. But it seems that their numbers show that 2020 hás a better chance of paying off, so they want to know what Albon is made of before commiting to who’s going to be Max wingman next year. KVY Will be watching that closely…

    1. @Only Facts! Yes, that indeed could very well be the intention behind this switch.

    2. Indeed that makes sense to be able to compare notes of all 3 options for next year.
      And who knows if a fast experienced driver falls out of the tree to be a good wing man (Bottas) to throw into the mix as well.

  6. I don’t think it is just the prospect theory. The season is hard to judge from stats. Strategy and other incidents have disrupted the stats surely the data shows Albon as a slightly quicker driver, and this is what prompted the choice. RB wouldn’t want to hurt themselves on this move. In short I completely disagree that kvyat lost it on being more experienced or that he would deserve it. When I think experience I don’t think of what Albon can do but what kvyat didn’t do with xp.

    This is also a dream come true scenario for RB, Thai driver on Thai sponsor.

    For Albon it’s tricky, he can’t pass the opportunity in-spite that shifting mid-season is usually a catastrophic idea. He passes up RB would never trust him to another chance, drivers should be confident.
    Spa at least should be a good track for a switch, lots of straights little time on the brakes. Albon might have a chance of staying within .500.
    after taking this long. I was wrong, top brass must have stepped in. Next season, who is driving for rb?

    1. Looking at Max’s last 3 qualifying results in Spa against Ricciardo, staying within .500 might be quite a challenge for Albon:
      2016: Max 0.323 sec faster
      2017: Max 0.572 sec faster
      2018: Max 0.483 sec faster

  7. McLaren have shown how a healthy driver dynamic can do wonders for both drivers and the team alike. Sainz is continuing to flourish despite his rookie team-mate keeping him honest, whilst Lando is showing why the next generation of F1 is in good hands (in terms of drivers at least).

    This is exactly what Red Bull can have with a Verstappen-Albon pairing.

    1. This is the thing though, RedBull had a perfectly fine driver on their books already: SAINZ! Carlos was on par with Verstappen at STR and would have done a much, much better job than Gasly has done.

      Between promoting Kvyat ánd Gasly to the main team too soon (effectively burning them up before they’re 23 years old and running the risk of doing exactly the same with Albon now), and getting rid of Sainz too early just because he wasn’t great friends with Verstappen, Helmut Marko is proving to do a pretty lousy job of managing the RB junior programme if you ask me.

      1. @jerffreyi More nonsense from the dutchie I see; Sainz didn’t come close on racepace and racecraft, especially considering it was only Max his second season in a single seater car, and Max and Carlos have been getting along just fine (their words fyi), to the point Carlos is now joining Max and Lando in their sim racing adventures. Much to the amusement of both Lando and Max because he is such a noob.
        (It is Carlos sr. who wrecked jr’s chances by stirring the pot in the spanish media.)

      2. @jeffreyj Gasly is now 23, so the ‘effectively burning them up before they’re 23 years old’ part doesn’t really apply to him unless you were referring to the choice made twelve months ago when he, of course, was 22. Kvyat, on the other hand, yes, was effectively burned up before 23 although by the time he got (originally) dumped for-good he was 23.

    2. That “healthy driver dynamic” at McLaren just means that the drivers are rather evenly matched, with the experienced hand doing slightly better than the rookie. That’s great, but it doesn’t necessarily mean both drivers are flourishing. Perhaps they are both doing poorly and the McLaren would actually go half a second faster in the hands of Alonso. There’s just no way to know.

      In any case, finding a teammate who is evenly matched with Verstappen is hard if you limit yourself to a young driver program.

  8. It was a … result for the driver who’d endured being dropped first by Red Bull in 2016 and then by Toro Rosso the following season

    Well, that pretty much sums up RBR’s position in my view.
    No need to “test” their luck again, when it turned to be bad luck 2 times previously.

    The reason they brought him back to TR is only because they don’t have anyone else to fill the seat.
    If they could have placed a robot there – they would have gone for a robot, and skipped Kvyat altogether.

  9. So, nothing to do with Redbull being owned (51%) by a Thai family?

    1. @latorres86 Oh come on this is F1 don’t be so cynical haha

    2. I don’t think that side of the Red Bull conglomerate wants any more headlines involving fast cars…

    3. @latorres86 Very interesting! I doubt it played a massive role in this decision, but could have helped in their decision to sign Albon back in 2012, and for this season too…

    4. Born in London and grew up in Ipswich.

      Take the tinfoil hat off.

  10. The only question I have is whether Kvyat is looking for a seat elsewhere. I wouldn’t be surprised.

    1. @bulsie He’d be a great option for Haas next year imho.

      1. But do you see the Haas outscoring the Torro next year? I don’t. They are on the charge at the moment with that aero and Honda engine. I have no doubt Torro will be a solid 5th place in the constructors next year if not this year so makes sense for him to stay if that’s the case (if they keep him).

        1. They might not, but for Kvyat it would not just be a side-step. It would establish him as his own man in F1, away from the RB program.

          For Haas he would be a quality replacement over Grosjean. Both are quick but Kvyat 2.0 seems to be quick, calmer and less crashy.

      2. Yes, that would be a good option. Though I think if Bottas were to become free, Haas would prefer to take him. on the other hand , Kvyat is like Haas’ driver profile (in the short while they have been here) – quick and aggressive.

        1. @bulsie Bottas is a proven race winner and has multiple pole’s. That’s around a 5 to 7 million Euro salary. Not sure Haas can pay that kind of money. Renault can though.

          1. Hmm.. I wasn’t thinking of the money factor. Though unless Hulkerberg leaves, I don’t see any reason for Renault to hire Bottas over him. Actually even if Hulk leaves, with Ricciardo already there, why go for Bottas. I think they would follow the trend of having an experienced driver paired up with a young driver where the car will be built around the experienced driver’s strength.

  11. It’s great for Albon, but he’s also going to be destroyed by Max.

    1. Gasly vs Kvyat and Albon vs Verstappen. Two very interesting battles.

    2. How could he not? Albon has to jump in mid-season in a car that VER is already in tune with.
      Also, Albon has even less experience in F1 than Gasly had when moving up and Gasly got a whole offseason and pre-season to prepare….

      1. We all know Max will likely ‘destroy’ Albon, as does Horner and Marko. This is about Albon doing better than Gasly and at least showing hope of progress. It is progress that they need to see from Albon…not Max beating performances. Steady 6th place finishes or better, ahead of the rest that aren’t the top 3 teams, that they would love to see from Albon. They don’t want one of their cars finishing regularly behind a Renault powered car.

        1. @robbie I think you nailed it with the word progress. Albon has been improving all year at Toro Rosso and I’m sure that Horner wants to see if that improvement continues at RBR. Spa will be the bench mark and then every race after that will be judged against his previous results to see if he’s getting better and to possibly determine where his ceiling may be. If he’s regularly 3/10ths off of Max as the season comes to an end, he’ll have a seat at the big table next year.

      2. Well that experience didnt exactly help Gasly…

        1. Expectation is that RBR now has 9 races to acquaint Albon with a good car and see what he is capable of.
          Will Max thrash him … no doubt about that. RBR management knows that.
          All Albon needs to do to demonstrate that they made the right decision, is to do better than Gasly would have.
          If he can keep the car on the road, score more points in 9 races than Gasly did in 12 and not get lapped by Max, he will be in for 2020, guaranteed.
          His competition is Gasly’s record, not so much Max at this point. That comes later. Not much later though.
          Gonna be awesome to watch this unfold.

  12. Kvyat would have been the safer bet to replace Gasly, but that would have left RB/TR with the same problem they’ve had for years, not being axle to evaluate new driver against known ones.
    And the article forgot to mention the times the drivers took grid penalties after qualifying which skews their race results a bit. Like the race where Kvyat started in the back row (for replacing a power unit) yet to usher ahead of Albon.

  13. I have a feeling that Marko is testing both TR drivers with this move. They’ve already seen Kvyat at RB and what he is capable of against Ric. Knowing he returned as a better driver is enough info for them. Now they wanna test him if he will loose his temper because never promoted and how he will show in comparison to Gasly.
    It might seem right now Albon has more perspectives but Marko wants to see if he will break as Gasly against Ver or challenge him as Leclerc challenges Vettel. Besides Albon is a rookie and will be quiet #2 for a few years – easy to manage and cannot make Ver more happy. Albon will bring more points as well this season. And can be replaced by Kvyat few races later if doesn’t perform.
    So Marko is evaluating his options for 2020. Doesn’t want to look as an idiot making same mistakes with the drivers again.
    If nobody makes him happy he always can sign Alonso for a year or two. Or Bottas as a solid #2.

  14. BTW. Send Toto – send Ocon and Bottas to Renault, Haas or Alpha Romeo. There will be good pairs of drivers then. And sign Alonso if Red Bull will not do this. We will have epic F1.

    Three top teams packed super solid.
    McLaren catching up with great pair of pilots. Renault, Haas, Alpha Romeo, TR, Racingpoint with no bad drivers there except for Stroll. Giovinazzi might be replaced by someone good as well like Hulk. Epic battles at the top and midfield guaranteed. Best seasons in history!

  15. I think they sort of know what Kvyat is capable of and he did fare very well against Ricciardo.
    Redbull are in a lose – lose situation as they are already far behind in points by their second driver, such that they don’t lose much if they try out Albon.
    If he turns out to be fast right out of the box, he is retained. If he turns out like Gasly, he is sent back.
    Then they can evaluate Gasly vs Kvyat and know if Gasly was only just better than Hartley and not the next big thing.
    So its a win – win for a lose – lose

    1. GtisBetter (@)
      12th August 2019, 16:49

      This is what I was thinking as well. They know Kvyat is up for the job, but why not see how Albon is doing. This way they should have the fastest duo next year.

  16. If nothing else, this should make the second half of the season a bit more interesting.
    Can Gasly use the mid-season break to reassess his approach and generate better results at Toro?
    Will he perform better in a car he may be more comfortable driving?
    Is there some unlikely technical variation between the Toro and the Bull that makes the adjustment between them too big a step?
    Does Max’s style generate a development tack that produces a uniquely different type of car to drive?
    Bring on Spa!

  17. Red Bull is half Thai and Albon is Half Thai. Also Albon brought in a few Thai Sponsors.
    Kvyat has outperformed Albon most of the season. So its all about the money and the Marketability of Albon in Asia.

  18. Neil (@neilosjames)
    12th August 2019, 18:17

    Given they’ve been relatively close, I don’t think too much about the season, or how they’ve performed… my main concern is that Red Bull are doing the same old thing and expecting a different result. They’re throwing an inexperienced driver into a team with a highly regarded team-mate, yet again.

    It didn’t work with Kvyat, it didn’t work with Gasly. The only time it worked was with Verstappen, but he’d already demonstrated sign of exceptional, elite-level talent in F1… something Albon has not.

    If Red Bull just want to weed out Verstappens and get rid of the rest then great, this’ll work… but during their most successful period, they had a No. 1 alongside a solid, dependable No. 2. Not a No. 1 and a string of demoralised, inexperienced kids. They’ve got their top guy sorted now as long as they can keep hold of him, but they’re burning all their Mark Webbers before they’re ready and robbing themselves of any chance of a stable lineup.

    1. to be fair, they were expecting to have Ricciardo…

      1. @neilosjames Also, it worked with Ricciardo as well as he was thrown in the seat next to Vettel from STR.

        1. Neil (@neilosjames)
          12th August 2019, 22:58

          @jeffreyj Ricciardo had two and a half seasons of F1 experience behind him when he got called up to Red Bull. That’s a decent amount of time… my issue is only with those who get promoted after one, one and a bit seasons.

    2. The only time it worked was with Verstappen

      It worked for Vettel. It worked for Ricciardo. It worked in another teams: for Hamilton, for Leclerc.

      1. Neil (@neilosjames)
        12th August 2019, 23:01

        Hamilton was a different era with loads of testing (and he was a supreme talent), Vettel’s team-mate was Mark Webber (who he was beating in a Toro Rosso the previous season), Ricciardo had 2.5 seasons of experience and for Leclerc, I’m unsure whether Vettel qualifies as an elite-level team-mate these days.

  19. Is it possible that Kvyat was offered the drive but turned it down on principle given how unceremoniously he was dismissed in 2016?

  20. Because they knew Kvyat would give max more trouble then Albon. Red bull continues to hood verstappens hand through everything and overhyping him

    1. @carlosmedrano Pity you’re guy would’nt stay and fight though eh, instead ran from a hard fight to hopefully hit the jackpot. And will be languishing in the lower top 10 for the rest of his carear. Last year he was embarassed.

  21. roberto giacometti
    13th August 2019, 6:23

    For all the pomp and ceremony of the “Red Bull Junior Driver Programme” , it is pretty useless then. OK , Vettell was a super success and Ricciardo a lesser success , but who else? No body. They just chew them up and spit them out.
    Easy solution , Bottas goes to Red Bull and Ocon in the Merc.

  22. It’s hard to imagine that, had Kvyat conclusively beaten Albon in a manner which reflected the gulf in experience between the two, Red Bull would have brought him back. In that respect, this has to be considered a missed opportunity.

    @keithcollantine I don’t understand this para – a missed opportunity for whom?

    on a slightly related note, I’m curious to see what happens now if gasly wipes the floor with kvyat. it would be a bit of a conundrum as to what to do with either driver then, and they’re hardly blessed with excellent juniors.

    1. For Kvyat

  23. Qualifying comparisons may be quite misleading.
    The following refers to 9 races which both drivers finished:
    * Out of 6 races in which Albon out-qualified Kvyat, Kvyat beat Albon 3 times
    * in 2 out of those races Kvyat won points while Albon did not
    * Albon has never been able to beat Kvyat in a race for which Kvyat out-qualified him
    * So far this season, Albon gained a total of 20 positions; Kvyat gained 32
    * Kvyat’s leads Albon 6 to 3 when it comes to fastest personal race lap.

    Finally, in Hungary it Kvyat proved on the track who is a better driver. If Kvyat’s tires didn’t go over
    the cliff, he would finished 8th or 9th adding to that point spread.

    Therefore, Kvyat is clearly the better driver at this point in time.

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