Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso, Spa-Francorchamps, 2019

Ricciardo: Red Bull’s Gasly decision ‘wasn’t unfair – they had to do something’

2019 F1 season

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Daniel Ricciardo says he understands why Red Bull decided to drop Pierre Gasly just 12 races into his first season with them.

Having driven for Red Bull between 2014 and 2018, during which time his team mate Daniil Kvyat was dropped mid-season, Ricciardo said he could see why the team lost patience with Gasly.

“To be honest I don’t think it’s unfair,” said Ricciardo. “I think they had to do something.

“Nothing against Pierre: I have no issue, I like Pierre as a person. I’m not happy to see him go back to Toro Rosso but I think the reality is Red Bull did give him six months.”

Alexander Albon has been promoted in place of Gasly alongside Max Verstappen. Ricciardo said the decision was not unexpected for someone with his experience of the Red Bull system.

“I don’t think there was that much sign of progression or momentum and obviously with Max winning and showing that the car is capable of at least being on the podium I think Red Bull did expect to see that, for now.

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“It’s also what, as a Red Bull driver, I’ve experienced in the programme. This is how they are. It’s no surprise that they are expecting this from you and if it doesn’t happen then they’ll move on.

“I don’t want to say it was unexpected as well. I’m sure Pierre probably had some suspicions that maybe something could change. It’s just the reality of their programme. It’s obviously a shame for him but I think Red Bull had to do something so now it’s Albon with an opportunity. We’ll see how that goes.”

However Ricciardo doubts Red Bull expected Gasly, in his second full season of F1, to have the measure of Verstappen, who is in his fifth. “I don’t think they expected Pierre to beat him but sometimes the gap was too big,” he said. “I think if he was a tenth, two-tenths or maybe even three sometimes it would be a bit better.

“I don’t know, I’m just speculating, I don’t know what Red Bull was expecting of him but they probably weren’t expecting him to beat Verstappen but probably be closer and to get more points on the board, I guess that was expected.”

“[Verstappen’s] had two wins, he’s had a few podiums, I guess at least they would have expected maybe one podium from Pierre,” Ricciardo added. “[It’s] not my place but all I will say is it’s not the first time they’ve done this so it’s not really a shock.”

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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...
Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...

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22 comments on “Ricciardo: Red Bull’s Gasly decision ‘wasn’t unfair – they had to do something’”

  1. Discussing other teams or drivers is a bit of a minefield for any driver to discuss anyhosawhat Daniel said had to be said. Gasly was slow, he got demoted, I actually think he’s fortunate that RB has toro rosso. Gasly being that slow is a bigger problem to RB, it’s worse for the team that it is for Gasly.

    1. @peartree What does ‘anyhosawhat’ mean? I’ve never encountered this word before, LOL.

      1. Any Hosawhat was a not quite famous driver agent who now runs a pub in Wiltshire

        1. Maybe @peartree is an Aussie we do tend to run our words together when we speak. avagoodweekend :)

        2. @jimmi-cynic maybe @peartree is an Aussie, we do tend to run our words together when we speak. avagoodweekend :)

          1. @johnrkh: Don’t want to be comma-tose. ;-)

      2. @jimmi-cynic @johnrkh @jerejj having weird issues with auto-correct, it only auto-uncorrects.

  2. Yeah, really not much of your business Danny.

    1. He’s a veteran of the Red Bull squad and understands how it works. I would say himself and Vettel are probably the most qualified to talk about it, especially given that they are no longer bound by contractual bias.

    2. He got asked about it and gave his opinion. So what? Not sure he’s said anything in there for any snowflake to get offended about, it’s pretty obvious it had to happen.

      I’d be more interested in hearing why Red Bull were saying only a couple of weeks prior that they weren’t considering a driver change.

      1. I don’t think you’ll find many people disagreeing with the decision, Gasly has been abysmal. That doesn’t mean it needs to be given by a former employee, specifically the guy who jumped ship when Verstappen went up another gear.

        1. So what do you expect him to say when asked by a journalist? No comment?

          Fans want drivers to be more frank but when they are, then they are vilified by fans and when they aren’t they are vilified by fans.

          As per the other posters above, he is one of the most qualified to comment on it as he been in the programme and nothing he has said is nothing new to fans given how RBR deal with their drivers. They all had the same expectations as Dan probably and we all have our opinions on the drivers on the grid, the same as every other driver. It’s funny how you turn this into a Verstappen troll when it the whole point of the article has nothing to do with that at all.

          1. I think people are confusing two different issues – drivers being more frank and showing personality and therefore providing more entertainment does not mean that one can’t comment on their behaviour. Do I like Verstappen pushing Ocon from an entertainment perspective? Of course, but personally I think he looked like an idiot. I’m sure some people loved it – that’s the whole point of ‘showing personality’, people will like/dislike different things.

            If Ricciardo were asked what he makes of Bottas’ new deal and went “I think they should have gone for Russell, Bottas has limited potential” I’d also be confused as to why he’s saying what he’s saying. I happen to think it’s classless :).

          2. “[It’s] not my place”

        2. I think Ricciardo was perfectly fair to both parties, he was only voicing what everybody already knows anyway. It was a bit of a pointless question apart from giving him the chance to stick the knife in to Red Bull, which he didn’t take.

  3. How do engine component usage happen with drivers? Does the use components follow the driver or the car? One interesting thing about the albon-gasly switch is that albon has the most amount of engine components used out of all drivers which means red bull are going to have to take more penalties with albon than they’d have to do with gasly if the components follow the driver. And how does that work with old engines that still have kilometers left in them?

    1. I believe the component usage sits with the seat. So Albon takes over Gasly’s tally, and vice versa.

    2. It’s car bound

  4. I like that Ric has the time to do his job for his team AND also study fully the progress of other drivers and their affairs in detail.
    Everyone else just says they do not know enough to comment on the decisions of TPs of the other teams.

    1. Yeah looking at the timeboard to check other drivers times is just too much to handle really. That and having any form of memory.

      1. What do current F1 drivers know about any of it? Informed commentary about Pierre’s career should obviously be left purely up to us readers ;-)

    2. It’s a positive from ric for me, he said exactly what happened.

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