Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri, Monza, 2020

Replacing Albon with Gasly “wouldn’t make sense” for Red Bull

2020 Tuscan Grand Prix Ferrari 1000

Posted on

| Written by and

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says the team are not pushing to bring Pierre Gasly back from AlphaTauri, despite his victory in last week’s Italian Grand Prix.

Gasly was dropped by Red Bull after 12 races last year and replaced by Alexander Albon. However Albon has struggled to get on terms with team mate Max Verstappen, while Gasly has thrived since returning to Toro Rosso.

Horner praised Gasly’s performance since leaving Red Bull but said he was not looking to bring him back.

“Pierre has done a fantastic job,” said Horner. “Since taking a step back into what was Toro Rosso, now AlphaTauri, he’s found his confidence, he’s driving incredibly well. AlphaTauri are doing a great job with him. It’s really good to see that’s working out for him.

“I think that as far as Red Bull Racing’s seats are confirmed we’re focussed on Alex Albon, we want to try to give him the best opportunity to retain that seat. We’ve got some issues that we’re working on with the car. I think that it wouldn’t make sense to switch the drivers back.”

Toro Rosso historically served as a team which was solely focused on supplying junior drivers to Red Bull. Horner said that has changed following its rebranding as AlphaTauri in the off-season: “AlphaTauri is now a sister team rather than a junior team.”

Alpha Tauri team principal Franz Tost “is happy, I believe, with Pierre,” Horner added.

“The final decisions will be made later in the year but there’s no push from our side to reverse the situation. We want to address some of the issues we have with RB16 which I think we’re starting to understand and get on top of and I think we’ll go from there.”

Horner did not rule out the possibility of Red Bull hiring a driver from outside its Junior Team if needed.

“Our preference has always been to nurture talent. Whether that’s Sebastian Vettel, whether that’s Daniel Ricciardo, whether that’s Max Verstappen they’ve all come through the junior programme, they’ve been schooled by Franz and they’ve always done well in Red Bull Racing’s seats. So our preference is always in that home-grown talent.

“If the pool isn’t big enough then of course, occasionally, you have to look outside of it. But our intention is absolutely to work with the talent pool that we have.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2020 Tuscan Grand Prix Ferrari 1000

    Browse all 2020 Tuscan Grand Prix Ferrari 1000 articles

    14 comments on “Replacing Albon with Gasly “wouldn’t make sense” for Red Bull”

    1. Anything done by RBR, Horner and Marko never makes any sense.

      1. They had Ricciardo, they favored Verstappen in every confrontation, even when Max was well out of line, and chased Ricciardo out. Now they are still looking for a capable number 2. They have only themselves to blame for the mess, and the resultant race by race, season by season points loss.

    2. I agree with him – Pierre is doing a good job, but with little expectation in terms of car performance and a team mate who should have been dropped entirely before now.

      Put him back in the pressure cooker of a regular front-running car, against Max, and watch him combust again.

      RBR, no matter what they say to the press, know full well they have an Alonso-like character in their team already – a driver that isn’t going to allow a team mate to even get a look in, whether it breaks the rules or not. So having a 2nd driver like Albon suits them fine… as long as they can get him up to a standard where he is regularly able to act as a wing man and keep a buffer between golden boy and the next fastest car.

      1. Kvyat really isn’t doing that much worse than Gasly this year.

        Both Styria and Hungary, Kvyat arguably did the better job. Gasly did have problems in Hungary, but Kvyat did have a better start than him and was ahead until Gasly retired.

        In Britain, there is no guarentee that Kvyat would have passed Gasly, but in the first 12 laps, Kvyat was significantly faster and caught right up to him until his car had a problem causing him to crash.

        Kvyat at least managed to beat Gasly in the following race.

        In Spain, Kvyat may have been a few places behind – but barely 2.5 seconds off gasly.

        Belgium and the first race this season I think were the only races Gasly was clearly a lot better than Kvyat actually. Both times, he beat him by a fair margin.

        This most recent race, Kvyat was actually the quicker of the two in the first stint and gasly benifitted a lot by the safety car (gaining 7 places) while kvyat lost 3. Without Kvyat’s long run on the hards being ruined by the safety car, he almost certainly would have beaten Gasly last time out.

        Gasly has been far better in qualifying this year, but only slightly better in the races overall. I don’t think there is a massive difference between either drivers ability. Gasly has improved this year, but Kvyat is easily good enough to still be in this team and F1.

        1. @thegianthogweed Kvyat has been in this team for longer than he should have. I can’t see him lasting there past the end of this season should Tsunoda reach the necessary amount of super license-points.

    3. Just ditch the 2nd car. Who needs a 2nd car if it is not performing. Might as well save costs, and spend them on Verstappen’s car right? Haha

    4. He’s right, it wouldn’t make sense. If the argument is you swapped Gasly too early, swapping Albon now would be doing the same mistake twice. What if Gasly is no faster than Albon in that second car? They can’t just keep swapping when one does a slightly better job. Haas mentioned whoever is in their cars next year will be in the one after to ensure stability over the rule change, so I’d imagine Red Bull will follow a similar line. If Albon is still in the car next year, he will continue to be.

      Also – if the concept of AlphaTauri is a ‘sister’ team, not a ‘junior’ outfit like Toro Rosso was, then Gasly would absolutely do better to stay where he is. In many ways being ‘team leader’ at AlphaTauri might be more rewarding than being ‘number 2’ at Red Bull.

      1. If sister team means they plan to have toro rosso (I’ll always call it that way) at the same level as red bull, in that case yes, he absolutely should stay there and in that case should bring the 2nd best results out of the 4 seats, since at that point just the driver’s ability will matter.

    5. Maybe Christian is actually thinking about putting a vet like a Perez/Hulk next to Max in the future, ideally he wants Albon to step up but if they expect to be seriously challenging for the title in 2022 they really need that Webber/Rosberg/Bottas level of consistent performance next to Max.

      1. @alec-glen I doubt they’d go for an outsider to the Red Bull family, especially if Tsunoda becomes eligible to race in F1 next season by reaching the minimum amount of super license-points needed.

    6. Sounds like the type of thing Horner would say just before bringing Gasly back to Red Bull.

      1. As if Horner has any say. What the Helmut says, goes.

    7. So it’s like “Don’t go to Red Bull, don’t perform dreadful”.

    8. Yes, for this season, it wouldn’t, but next season is a separate matter.

    Comments are closed.