Why Red Bull hasn’t given Gasly a second chance

2020 F1 season

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By any measure, Pierre Gasly has had a superb 2020 season at AlphaTauri.

He’s consistently taken the car into Q3 more regularly than his more experienced team mate. Regular points finishes have followed.

That impressive form, plus a fortuitously-timed pit stop, allowed him to pull off the shock of the season to date: A breakthrough victory in his team’s home race.

What more could reasonably be expected from a driver in a midfield team? If anyone has made a case for promotion to a front-running car this year, it’s surely Gasly.

But today’s news AlphaTauri has extended his contract to next season means he is likely set for another year in the midfield.

An opportunity for promotion existed via sister team Red Bull. But Gasly has been down that path before, and we all remember how it ended: He was ejected from the team after just 12 races, and replaced by Alexander Albon.

Now the situation is reversed: Albon is the driver who is under-performing at Red Bull. The numbers make every bit as grim reading as they did when Gasly was in the seat. Max Verstappen, third in the championship in the other Red Bull, has out-scored Albon by nearly 100 points.

Alexander Albon, Red Bull, Nurburgring, 2020
Albon’s troubled season has put his future in doubt
Albon, eighth, is only one point ahead of Gasly. In the last three races he’s finished behind the AlphaTauri twice and was in danger of doing the same at the Nurburgring before he retired.

The situation looks desperate for Albon. But it hasn’t opened a door for Gasly to rejoin Red Bull, as team principal Christian Horner is not convinced he would thrive if he returned.

“Obviously we have a lot of information on the drivers over a big period of time,” he said on Sunday evening after the Portuguese Grand Prix, where a late pass on Sergio Perez secured fifth place for Gasly.

“Pierre has done a super job today and he’s driving very well in that environment with AlphaTauri. He’s comfortable in that car with perhaps the less pressure that goes with that environment as well and less expectation.

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“Obviously their aspirations as a team are different as it was as Toro Rosso. So it makes sense that the fit works well in both directions with Pierre and the AlphaTauri team.”

Horner believes the situation Red Bull are experiencing, where one driver is significantly out-performing the other, is not unlike cases seen at other teams this year.

Gasly’s Monza victory hasn’t led to a Red Bull return
“I think the car is a more difficult car to drive than the AlphaTauri. We know that, that’s very clear. The car is much more rear-sensitive and I think that that that can be unnerving for drivers.

“Max copes with that incredibly well, other drivers have struggled more with that. I think that’s just the facts of it. I think if Alex was in an AlphaTauri he’d probably be doing a very similar job, as we saw last year, to that of Pierre. I have no doubt of that.

“So it’s just the characteristics of our car, they are struggling to commit on corner entry. You see it a little bit with the Ferrari, with Leclerc and Vettel at the moment. You see it in the race with Hamilton and Bottas, that’s just the way it is sometimes.”

Red Bull will “look at all of the options” if they decide to replace Albon, said Horner. With drivers like Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg out of contract at the end of the season, the team look increasingly likely to cast their net beyond their young driver talent pool.

“I don’t think we’d be doing our job if we didn’t look at the situation within Formula 1. Obviously drivers that have got significant experience and ability – it’s a very unusual situation – could be available.

“Our first and foremost priority is to give Alex the opportunity to lay claim to that seat. Let’s not forget when he jumped in the car last year, he out-scored and out-performed Pierre significantly in the balance of 2019.

“So if we were to swap them back, why would it be any different?”

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96 comments on “Why Red Bull hasn’t given Gasly a second chance”

  1. Finding drive away from RBR(until Verstappen is there) might be better option for Gasly like what Sainz and Ricciardo did.

    1. Besides financially what did Ricciardo gain with moving to Renault?
      At RedBull he won races.

      1. Money is really a good reason to switch teams

        1. His success came from the failings of others. On his own he is still mid field. It’s like getting a good grade in spelling and then, the expectation of becoming class president is a bit over the top.

          I also think we haven’t heard of what’s going on behind the scenes at RedBull. My guess is that announcement is still held in check.
          Who is the Japanese driver whose name keeps popping up? The game of securing drives is still on and further along than the Fans actually know.
          That must be why Gasly remains with the kids team.

          1. @HOLMZINI Yuki Tsunoda.

          2. like Monaco 2018? Boy you don’t know what you’re talking about.

      2. @jamesbond Reputation is very important to drivers too. If Ricciardo had stayed at Redbull, it’s quite likely he would have lost to Verstappen quite consistently. The trend was starting to go against him even before he announced his move to Renault. So he might not have looked too appealing to teams if he lost to Max 3 seasons in a row, even if it wasn’t completely one-sided. At Renault he’s got the better of both his teammates, who were decently rated themselves, and thus has a strong reputation which helps him with his contract negotiations. McLaren might not have been so keen on signing him if he was on the losing end of his recent teammate battles.

        1. If he had been at Red Bull he might’ve earned that coveted second driver seat at Ferrari he was aiming for in 2018. Instead, because he was at Renault, Ferrari went for Sainz instead and Ricciardo stays in the midfield, albeit at a different team.

          And yes Ferrari are underperforming right now, but we all know that’s the seat you’d pick out of the top 2 teams right now.

        2. Dave (@davewillisporter)
          29th October 2020, 19:44

          Baku 2018 was a turning point for him leaving RB. Two points from that race. 1. He was able to catch and pass Max and consistently put his car on the same piece of tarmac as Max. 2. That was the problem. RB were having to deal with regular on track incidents or risk of incidents between their two drivers. Both Merc and Ferrari already had a star driver when choosing a replacement for the second seat. They didn’t need another star driver. Ricciardo is an extremely good driver as shown by Kvyat blowing up trying to keep up with him and Max blowing away Gasly and Albon. Ricciardo is the only driver since Max joined RB that could compete. He may not ultimately have come out on top but he could give Max a serious run. No one else has. His options were limited by how other teams saw the dynamic going. I’ve heard a lot of people saying if Max was at Merc…. Toto wouldn’t allow it because both cars would be at risk of collisions nearly every race and that doesn’t make sense from a team perspective. (Rosberg Hamilton nearly killed that team!) Horner would never sign Lewis alongside Max for the same reason. It’s a compliment to Ricciardo that no team with a star driver wants him. It would upset the apple cart.

      3. @jamesbond

        You’re right: Resultswise Ricciardo hasn’t gained from leaving RBR. But atleast he didn’t accept just being the bridesmaid when he had shown that everything being equal he was more than a match for Max. Baku changed it all and the meagre offer from Red Bull compared to what Max earns was the icing on the cake. Ricciardo is a special driver- I would put him in the HAM/Max category easily and he knows that. So why accept being forced into Webber 2.0?

        1. @blazzz I pretty much agree with that though verstappen did look to have the upper hand towards the end of their time as team mates, especially in qualifying. However, I still think ricciardo is a potential champion in the right circumstances (he made vettel look very average of course). He may well have lost out on some wins by leaving red bull but definitely no titles. In that ‘career’ sense, he lost nothing by going to Renault and mclaren.

      4. @jamesbond you will find multiple examples of drivers moving out of race winning, and even championship winning, cars and teams because their relationship with the team had broken down.

        In the case of Ricciardo, he has already highlighted some of the concerns that he had, such as Red Bull planning to change the engineers on his side of the team – several of whom had no prior experience in F1. As an aside, Gasly did indicate that he felt that his performances at Red Bull were hurt because he had less experienced engineers to work with, and ultimately Red Bull have partially backtracked on that with Albon, so it suggests that Ricciardo did have a point with that particular complaint.

        Ultimately, if he’s reached a point where the relationship he had with the team and its senior management is frayed because Ricciardo did not feel that he could fully rely on the senior management, then I can understand why the lure of occasional wins would not be enough.

  2. There was a bit of noise of him being in talks with Renault and we all know Marko and Christian.

  3. Clearest hint I’ve heard from Horner that Albon is out

    And to be honest with Perez or The Hulk available, they’d be nuts not to

    I still think there could be a surprise at Mercedes and Bottas ‘decides’ to leave and they take on Russell. If so could Bottas be in the frame for RBR. Just a daft hunch of mine!!!!

    1. If you’re Bottas-
      Pros: Best car on the grid, atleast a few wins and poles on the table guaranteed. Good money. A 2016 chance if he keeps improving with a bit of luck. With Hamilton seemingly at a crossroads as to how long he wants to continue- potential to then takeover if Merc doesn’t hire a Ricciardo, Max or Leclerc. Even then- with Bottas so familiar with the car I don’t think any of the aforementioned drivers would steam roll him immediately.

      Cons: Move to RBR for less money, to be a definite number 2, in a car built around Max with all of RBR’s politics, just because you’re tired of being second to a driver who has booked himself a seat at the top table with the very great drivers the sport has ever seen? Bottas would be mental to resign from Merc.

      1. IMHO Gasly was mental to reportedly refuse the offer from Renault. Having Alonso as a teammate might have its drawbacks but on the positive side, he would take most of the pressure to deliver results.

    2. I have to agree, in that you’d expect Lewis to be one of the first one to have signed up with a team. The fact he hasn’t has made it difficult for all the other teams because they and their respective drivers are waiting to see if he does sign.

    3. Dave (@davewillisporter)
      29th October 2020, 19:57

      @banbrorace Nope. Toto has said in recent interviews he values loyalty. I’ll make a virtual bet of £100 (meaningless I know) that Russell if he is replaced by Perez, which from what I hear is almost a done deal, will be reserve driver for Mercedes in 21. Bottas will not be shuffled out the door. What happens next depends on the length of Lewis’s next contract. They will want Russell alongside Lewis for at least a year before Lewis retires. What they will not do is dump Bottas immediately. Neither will they cut Russell adrift like Werlein and Ocon. Russel is too fast and they can see it. When Bottas leaves is a matter of when they need Russell in the car. They don’t need him in the car in 21. Bottas is delivering the WCC and the stability will help them get 8. After 8 constructors and 2022 it’s open market. Toto may step back to be more like Nikki. Lewis will be there, but the second seat is open. Would you want to replace a solid driver during a reg change? That’s a risk, but George Russell once he gets up to speed will challenge Lewis like Rosberg did.

      1. I ain’t betting!! I agree with you. As I said just a daft discussion point of mine

        Not certain that even Rosberg would be challenging this version of Hamilton – especially when you remmeber that it could be argued that 2016 was Hamilton’s worst showing other than 2011 and he still was unlucky

        The reason for my thought is that something different is needed to shake Lewis up. I’m a big Hamilton fan – but think that Russell, mentally, without the baggage is the best best now

  4. The night and day difference between Tost and Horner’s assessment of Gasly is fascinating. I don’t know why Gasly would want to go to Red Bull anyway, the belief and trust just isn’t there.

    If what Horner says is true, then if Albon also goes back Alpha Tauri to replace Kvyat, there’s a serious chance that Red Bull will be outscored by their sister team next year in the constructors…

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      28th October 2020, 13:24

      @skipgamer

      I don’t know why Gasly would want to go to Red Bull anyway, the belief and trust just isn’t there.

      well, that’s Gasly’s own doing, isn’t it? The image of him getting lapped by Verstappen at the Red Bull Ring is etched in Horner’s (and Gasly’s) minds for eternity.

      I think Gasly should move to another team down the road – if he outscores Albon the way he did Kvyat this season, I’ve no doubt teams like Renault and McLaren will take notice.

      1. Yes it was gasly’s own doing, plus of course RBR choosing to remove the good front wing he was using to put it on Max’s car after he broke it, without telling gasly of course, plus Gasly being forbidden to see his family in the garage and the usual lack of consideration for him.
        I wonder why you forgot all that, hm.

        1. Red Bull do seem to be laughably poor at proper man-management of their drivers

          Even if Driver No.2 is inferior, you don’t in these modern times go out of your way to prove it

    2. @skipgamer Gotta disagree with you on a few things. I think Horner and Tost are very much on the same page, and why wouldn’t they be? They’re both under the RBR umbrella and AT is the stepping stone to RBR for their young drivers.

      Wrt Gasly they both agreed that he was not handling the pressure well nor was working well with his engineers at RBR. The car was also a bit of a handful last year. When PG went back to STR he regained confidence in an easier car to drive, with less pressure, and had learned much from his experience at RB. The belief and trust is absolutely there but PG just didn’t adapt quickly enough. Now they’ve built him back up, he’ll likely have a great year next year, and he’ll be even better prepared for a top car if/when that happens.

      Your second paragraph makes no sense to me. What truth did Horner speak that means AA is going to replace Kvyat? And nothing is going to change the fact that Max alone will likely score as many if not more points than both AT drivers, so his points combined with the points of whomever Max’s teammate is, and we will once again see RBR dwarf AT in Constructor points. AT is not a top team, right? And whether it’s Albon, or Perez, or Hulk, presumably they’ll have been awarded RBR’s confidence to go out there and do better than this year is a car that should have some of it’s quirks dialed out of it by then.

      1. Dave (@davewillisporter)
        28th October 2020, 14:09

        Somebody is definitely replacing Kvyat. Who will depend on Imola and probably Turkey. If Albon has a good race in Imola, I think they see how Turkey goes and then decide whether to keep him or replace him. If he has another shocker in Imola he’s gone. Most likely demoted back to Alpha Tauri replaced with I would guess Hulkenberg for his development skills. It will not have gone unnoticed by Horner and Marco A. how quickly Hulk got up to speed and B. his apparent revelations to Racing Point which led them down a new direction with the rear end and if one thing is clear from this year’s RB it’s that they need a driver that can offer that insight. They also need a solid No2, not someone who will race Max. Perez (if he was fast enough and that’s a big if) given half a sniff of a chance would be up the inside and well, too many Ricciardo flashbacks of carbon fibre flying for that to appeal to RB! If Albon makes the grade then Tsunoda will replace Kvyat.
        I’m more intrigued to see if Perez replaces Russell. Then we may see why Bottas has only ever been given a one year extension! I’m also looking forward to (if it happens) how Mazipin will size up next to Mick at Haas.

        1. @davewillisporter For Albon, it’s more likely either Red Bull Racing or nothing due to the likelihood of Tsunoda getting the other drive at AT alongside Gasly.
          I agree with you on the part about Hulkenberg and Perez, though, although I think the latter could equally be a help for the team development-wise.

    3. AT beating RBR would be hilarious, but I can’t see it happening if RBR picks either Perez or Hulkenburg – they’re both too solid.

  5. I’m glad he’s staying at Alpha Tauri for another season. Let him grow in confidence and experience, then see how everything is looking in a year or two. Maybe a seat at Renault or Red Bull waiting eventually, depending on which rumours you believe.

    The second seat is interesting as Tsunoda is seemingly ready for promotion, but I’d be very surprised at this point if Red Bull retains Albon, he’s been getting worse all year. Surely he’s due the safety net at Alpha Tauri that Gasly and Kvyat had.

    I’ve said before, but as the team exists solely (or mostly) to bed in young drivers for Red Bull, why not sign three drivers (Gasly, Albon, Tsunoda) and give them two thirds of a season each, to really compare them? They won’t be in the running for the World Championship, so it shouldn’t hurt them in that regard.

    1. @ben-n Hmm you went from congratulating PG and being happy for his future growth and experience, to then busting him down to 2/3 of a season in a comparison shoot-out. I can’t agree that that would be good for anyone. When does each driver really have time to gel with the team and the car your way? I personally think a driver being in the car right from the first test is important. Who gets that experience, or if it is all three then they’re all only getting a small taste. No, imho they have to support two drivers only and give them both their full attention.

      1. Jose Lopes da Silva
        28th October 2020, 14:55

        They’ve done that before with Liuzzi and Klien.

    2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      28th October 2020, 14:11

      @ben-n it would be very cruel if Albon isn’t given a chance to redeem himself in an Alfa Tauri the way Gasly and Kvyat did. If they replace him with Hulk or Perez and Tsunoda drives along Gasly, there’s no room for him. Whatever the case, they need someone in the Red Bull who can handle the car.

      1. I was under the impression F1 is the pinnacle of motor racing. Since when is dropping an under performing driver cruel.

      2. @freelittlebirds Nothing cruel about letting him go altogether instead of demoting to the B-team. Just because this was done to Gasly and Kvyat doesn’t mean the same should also be the case with him.

        1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          28th October 2020, 16:22

          Well, it does beg the question of why Kvyat had 2 chances to prove his worth and Gasly was given a 2nd life leading to a victory. Kvyat was able to get a podium Perhaps Albon could do the same with a different car.

          Kvyat had a much longer stint at Red Bull and has raced in 107 GP. Albon on the other hand would only have raced in less than 40 and I don’t think that Kvyat is quicker than Albon.

          If those drivers hadn’t gotten those chances, then by all means it would not have been cruel.

          If that were the case then I would suggest that Red Bull consider keeping Albon over Gasly at Alpha Tauri.

      3. It’s feasible that Ocon, Russell and Albon could all be without a seat next year, which says more about the financial state of the sport and our world than their abilities

  6. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    28th October 2020, 13:32

    I’d love to see Hulk in a Red Bull – I think that they will maximize their points next year and the team will be very happy as Hulk is the kind of guy who puts his head down and just goes to work. He doesn’t complain about anything and makes no excuses as we’ve seen this year. Every team that’s had him as a driver has moved forward and that will be the case with Red Bull. He also doesn’t play mind games so he and Verstappen can get to work together and show the world again how great that team is – since Ricciardo left every race has been underscored by a ghastly performance in the 2nd car. It will be also great for Verstappen to have someone who can push him like Sainz and Ricciardo did.

    1. “ Doesn’t play mind games”

      It appears you are a close relative of Nico.

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        28th October 2020, 16:23

        Am I missing something? Pray tell…

    2. I’ll be dissapointed if RB go for the nice driver over the better driver. That driver #2 policy has gave no results.

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        28th October 2020, 16:28

        Well, if you’re suggesting that they clone Max to get the best driver for that car, then that has its own legal, time and moral issues the least of which might be that Original Max might not be fond off Clone Max and vice versa. There’s also no proof that cloning bestows talents on the clone;-)

        Otherwise, if you’re referring to Perez, Perez just said no to Red Bull this weekend on track before they even considered him so there’s way he shall ever be in a Red Bull car next to Max. Besides, he’s too slow for that car.

        1. A lot of fans are saying Perez could indeed be headed to Red Bull.

          1. I would say Hulk is the right choice if RB wants Verstappen to be confortable, but if they want to maximize results, Checo is the one to get.

  7. Interesting article on Mika Hakkinen’s view that the Red Bull car may be too focused on Verstappen’s specific driving style, exacerbating the difference between him and his team mates. Given that Verstappen is the one constant, is clearly the focus of the team’s ambitions, and yet is relatively inexperienced, this could well lead to producing a car with a very small margin of driveability. In a sense the same is happening with the Ferrari, maximizing the car for Leclerc’s benefit. There’s no denying the talent of both drivers, but there’s a clear difference to the situation at other teams, including Mercedes, where the car is more neutral. As Hakkinen suggests, you’d need a driver with a very similar style to Verstappen to benefit. Are there any available though?

    1. This is a myth. Ver does not like the handling of the car either. He is just better able to drive around it. Max is capable of switching cars, as clearly seen in Spain 2016, and his numerous online races. Other F1 drivers have already commented they would not be able to do it since it would distract them from their F1 car feeling. Thats also why he and other greats before him are good wet weather drivers. All are just conditioned drivers that have been around for a long time, racking up the miles. Some add talent (actual feeling for what they do) to it and become champions

  8. Interesting article (PlanetF1) on Mika Hakkinen’s view that the Red Bull car may be too focused on Verstappen’s specific driving style, exacerbating the difference between him and his team mates. Given that Verstappen is the one constant, is clearly the focus of the team’s ambitions, and yet is relatively inexperienced, this could well lead to producing a car with a very small margin of driveability. In a sense the same is happening with the Ferrari, maximizing the car for Leclerc’s benefit. There’s no denying the talent of both drivers, but there’s a clear difference to the situation at other teams, including Mercedes, where the car is more neutral. As Hakkinen suggests, you’d need a driver with a very similar style to Verstappen to benefit. Are there any available though?

    1. The closer you are to the front, the narrower the sweet spot is, its not just a Max thing and it shows what an outstanding job Mercedes are doing in giving both drivers a decent shot. Its almost impossible to accommodate to genuine No 1 drivers in a team unless they have the same driving style and generally the really top boys don’t mind a loose rear, the rest prefer it planted and a very pointy front end. Its a lesser skill and tends to wear the fronts quicker as you don’t use the rear to steer as much, further exacerbating the reduction in apex and exit speed.

      The cars do seem very single driver centric this last season or 2, more than I remember.

      1. @david-br @tonymansell Hard to argue with a quality Champ like Mika, but I would just add that I’m not convinced they have the car the way Max would fully like it either. Especially earlier on in the season. I think he too had issues with the back end and the car’s handling with low fuel on board. But yeah by what Horner has said the car is finicky as top cars can be, and Max is dealing with that well whereas for both PG and AA that has been a bigger issue but combined with their lesser experience and the pressure they have on them, makes it tough. An experienced driver like DR, who was also there before Max came along, was able to handle things. No wonder they wanted to retain him.

        1. @robbie They did, but Marko isn’t exactly a subtle operator, nor Horner a diplomatic genius. They handled Max’s arrival badly and without enough appreciation of the negative effect of their enthusiasm on Ricciardo. Other team principals and owners would have done a far better job.

          1. @david-br Not sure I can go along with that as I don’t know what you are going by to substantiate that. At some point DR as the senior driver, who initially handled Max just fine while he was doing himself harm with his exuberance of youth, had every opportunity to stake his claim on the team, perhaps especially since Max was being hyped. And he had done that. They wanted him to stay. The ‘problem’ is that Max only got better and better and then of course famously finally shed himself for the most part of his ragged behaviour after his tough lesson at Monaco 2018. DR still had every opportunity to persist with his own twist to the plot.

          2. I don’t disagree @robbie that DR could and should have stayed. I’m just saying that since RBR wanted him to stay – Horner was clearly genuinely thrilled (and correct) that they had the best driver lineup on the grid – they could have handled the situation better. The media was packed with reports about how for Red Bull ‘the future is Verstappen’. Add to that the fallout from the Baku race (where I don’t blame Max that much in fact) and other factors, and Ricciardo may well have felt he was being demoted in status. TBH I think that’s fairly accurate and indisputable, but if you conclude otherwise, fair enough.

        2. Also, will they allow an inexperienced/number2 driver to stray away from a setup that is known to at the very least perform relatively good for the lead or established driver within the team. It takes a lot of engineering time to dedicate time to researching different setups, as such these fresher or learning drivers can not easily pull that off within an established front running team.
          We could also assume that the same or similar is what Vettel is experiencing at Ferrari. Since they have moved away from his chapter, they are probably unwilling to expend any setup resources on finding his preferred setup window and probably also holding back some vital information from him. Ferrari can afford to finish below 5th position.

      2. Exactly, the Mercedes had a downforce improvement around the rear axle for this season, which has probably helped Bottas get a bit closer to Hamilton when track conditions are normal (high winds in Portugal during the race opened up that difference again). Both the Ferrari and Red Bull are less stable, causing problems for the ‘number two’ drivers there.

    2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      28th October 2020, 15:08

      @david-br I do wonder if that’s the reason that Ricciardo left Red Bull – he saw that the car’s development and team favoritism were already tilting towards Max and he anticipated that the performance gap would grow as the seasons continued albeit at a lesser extent than we’ve seen with Albon and Gasly.

      1. I would much rather Hulk stay retired than suffer that fate.

      2. @freelittlebirds I think they’d be very close still and, had he stayed: Ricciardo would have much more leverage within the team than the newer recruits (experienced, very popular with the team, respected across the grid, and Red Bull did need him). I really hope he thrives at McLaren.

      3. @freelittlebirds If you google for info from DR on his leaving RBR you will see by his own words that he didn’t have concerns about staying…he literally says that to use the word ‘concerns’ would be to insult RBR. He states that it was his toughest life decision, not just racing decision, and he cites small things like the unknown of the coming Honda engines, and that his race engineer was moving on. He just felt like it was time for a change, but there is nothing whatsoever to substantiate that he was running from Max or was afraid of them centering the team around Max. He had no concerns of secondary treatment on the team.

        1. @robbie Well, he would say that wouldn’t he? :)
          Certainly he hoped he’d ‘do a Hamilton’ and join a resurgent Renault at the right time as clear lead driver. But he also said he was very ambivalent about it and decided somewhat ’emotionally’, almost surprising himself (and certainly the team who were caught unexpected). All that points to other factors influencing his decision.

          1. @david-br Fair comment but I just don’t get a vibe (for what that’s worth) that DR was feeling unfairly treated. If he was, or if the team was doing anything to even inadvertently push him away by favouring Max, would they have been so surprised at his leaving?

            The elephant in the room is that Max is just bloody fast and that creates a problem for the other driver no matter how you look at it.

        2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          28th October 2020, 16:01

          @david-br I agree Daniel would be closer but it was evident that Max was becoming quicker in that car. Whether it was Max improving or the car designed to suit him, that I don’t know but Daniel was definitely staring at a hill.

          @robbie Yes, I know the public statement and, of course, it was also worded to cover Horner’s scything statement that Daniel was running from a fight. I think Baku was the moment that Daniel realized that his future wasn’t going to be as bright as he hoped at Red Bull. That was Max’s fault by a landslide and the team apparently apportioned at least half of the blame on Daniel. Daniel drove probably just about as well and as clean as a driver could have that race and Max was bonkers pushing Daniel into crazy situations and Red Bull should have reined Max in the 1st 3 dive attempts by Max. And that defense by Max was the most blatant violation of the double move rule ever. I’ve no clue how Max got away with that except for the stewards taking mercy on Red Bull at the expense of Daniel.

          1. @freelittlebirds What you are describing as ‘scything’ would not have been taken so by DR I’m sure and it is your opinion that Max was at fault whereas interviews a few races later about the incident had them both joking around about it, well past it, both agreeing that they each got too greedy that day. They had been closely tussling the whole time up until that incident. Just because you think it was all on Max does not mean that is the final truth nor that that is how one handles such a thing internally, as has happened many times in the past with many teammates who have clashed.

            As to the stewards, we have also seen many times them leave 50/50 situations between teammates alone to be settled internally with the team. Had they seen a blatant breach by either driver over the other…had it been less debatable and plain for all to see, they probably would have had no choice but to adjudicate in one drivers favour.

          2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            28th October 2020, 16:50

            @robbie Horner’s statement cut Daniel like a knife and it also was publicized to the paddock and the entire world… He closed the door completely on Daniel returning to Red Bull while Horner’s at the helm.

            50/50????? If someone robs and stabs you and then you stab them and get your money back, is it ok for the cops to say it was 50/50 cause you’re both bleeding and none of you lost any money? It’s a robbing incident – he robbed you and then you robbied him, right? :-) Daniel was NOT ok with it – he said so very clearly after announcing his switch to Renault. I don’t want to paraphrase him but he was apalled by Red Bull’s behavior.

          3. @freelittlebirds That’s a lot of rhetoric there so I think at this point yeah you should provide some quotes and not paraphrase. Happy to read them and reconsider my thinking on this if it is warranted.

          4. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            28th October 2020, 18:44

            @robbie Just google Ricciardo Baku and you’ll find Ricciardo’s interviews which are very toned down after having nearly a year to cool down. That’s one set of interviews – I believe he talks about it in Netflix. He was livid at the time and I’m sure I told you guys that he would be leaving Red Bull. It was going to be very hard for him to stay there – I think they were already paying Verstappen much more money and hyping him more than Daniel for every mistake he made – Baku was probably the final nail in the coffin. There was no room for Daniel at Red Bull at the end of that race.

            Wouldn’t you be livid if you’d been stabbed and robbed and the authorities claimed it’s six of one and half a dozen of another and then your own family backs the authorities up and makes you publicly admit that you were at fault? There’s a difference between a nice guy like Daniel and a complete d*mb*ass which is how he was treated.

            There was tension between the 2 drivers after Baku and Daniel insisted that they step in but Marko claimed he drove into Max – at least that’s what I got out of it. It was actually really hilarious that Marko and Horner expected Daniel to sign. They could have offered him 3 times Max’s salary and he would have found a reason to leave.

            Read here:
            https://www.reddit.com/r/formula1/comments/bk9qe1/how_the_ricciardo_story_was_planned_on_netflix/

    3. I think people tend to over estimate how different the cars are to drive in f1 and how sensitive the drivers are. Look at patrese vs mansell in that active suspension williams. Patrese just could not get that much out of it. Jenson button who has driven a variety of different level f1 cars said you can never tell how fast a car is by just driving it. It can be really difficult or really easy to drive but slow. But it can also be of those things and be super quick. The job of the driver is to get all out of that car. The job of the team is to make a car that has a lot of speed in it.

      But if gasly nor albon can not handle the red bull to such extent that they never get even close to verstappen tells me only one thing. Gasly and albon are not very good. F1 visits all kinds of different tracks and as such different cars tend to suit different venues better than others. A car does not suit to one driver in every weather, every aero configuration and every track. Even by chance the not-max driver should somewhere be as quick. It is impossible that the car is always the reason why max is ahead. Every update, every season. Nobody can build a car to suit to just one person so well. Even merc had handling issues some time ago that hurt hamilton more than bottas.

      Even if the car is built totally for max then gasly and albon should be able to sometimes match or be even in the same tv picture with max just through skill. But they were never even close. They are always miles away. Red bull needs better driver. The car is fine.

      1. Exactly, people make things way to complicated with all their analyses. A good driver can drive around specific annoyances of a car to get the most out of it. Period

  9. The truth remains that neither of the three most successful Red Bull drivers (Webber, Vettel, Verstappen) came via their young driver academy…so looking outside of it wouldn’t necessarily be anything new.

    1. @gpfacts The latter two were in the driver program, though, albeit VER got the chance at STR immediately after joining. Seb was at BMW Sauber on-loan only. Webber is, of course, the most recent driver to have joined the senior team from a team other than the B-team.

    2. @gpfacts as Jere notes, Vettel was still contracted with Red Bull when he was at BMW-Sauber – Mario Theissen confirmed that when he explained that BMW-Sauber was letting him return to Toro Rosso.

      The team loaned him to BMW-Sauber because Kubica’s promotion to main driver meant that BMW-Sauber, who had the option at the time of running extra practice time for third drivers, now had a vacancy – meaning that it was fairly simple to slot him into Kubica’s former seat as a test driver.

  10. RBR is unique in the current state of the F1 teams in that they have an A and a B team under their control. Yes Ferrari has associations with Haas and AR, but not to the embedded extent that AT and RBR are connected. Is this good or bad.? Not sure.
    Being able to tap into different drivers within a season is unique to RBR.
    No mention of the Honda connection and the benefit to promoting a Japanese driver, even for one season. Yes Honda is history at the end of the year, but will RBR / AT take Mr. T on out of loyalty or some contract provision.?
    This would trigger a whole new set of seat rotations.
    You wanted entertainment? …. in spades.

  11. Missed Apex have long suggested they had good information that Gasly had significantly fallen out with “senior” people / persons at Red Bull – ergo its no surprise that he’s not been brought back up to the big team

    G

  12. Gasly had his chance and couldn’t handle the expectations that come with driving for a top team.

  13. Maybe Redbull are actually protecting Gasly from Max. Drivers like Max, Lewis and Alonso are career-enders for their respective team mates. Maybe the case with Gasly is that he is brilliant in a smaller team with smaller expectations but very average in a Big team.

  14. Why Albon… ?
    Because he’s Thai and there a bigger deal between Red bull owner Mateschitz and the Thai family that own the recipe. Just that.

    1. @jeff1s Well, if it was about this, he would’ve been in the senior team already from the beginning of last season and wouldn’t have been dropped from the program back in 2012.

    2. I keep hearing that but I don’t even see manufacturers like Mercedes or Honda or Renault, who would have a clear marketing benefit to doing so, demanding that a team put their nationals in the car (I don’t see Ocon as being a Renault hire there for his passport.) And I don’t see anything but inference to say RBR’s ultimate owners and requiring Horner to keep Albon in the car. If it’s about marketing, then I think RBR would be searching high and low for an American to be in the car because we love us some fizzy sugar water.

      1. Never said marketing @dmw but politics and money. If they don’t have the recipe, Red Bull is nothing.

  15. Rashmil Rajagopalan
    28th October 2020, 16:08

    I think Yuki Tsunoda will partner alongside Pierre Gasly for 2021. The better driver joins RedBull for 2022.
    That’s why Pierre has been retained as a benchmark for Yuki and Dani unfortunately leaves.

    About Red Bull’s 2nd seat, that’s anybody’s guess right now.

    1. @Rashmil Rajagopalan, I also view this line up as the most likely one for AT, meaning that for Albon, it’s either RBR or nothing for next season.

    2. Why get another rookie into AT? So they can get used to a car that is easy to drive? I reckon throw Yuki Tsunoda straight in next to Max, at least then he wouldn’t be used to the forgiving nature of the AT and he and RB would have no expectation of him beating Max.

      Enough of the softly softly, bite off more than you can chew, and then chew like crazy or choke.
      As Mark Webber once said, F1 is not a training ground, it is supposed to be the 20 best drivers in the world.

  16. Horner isn’t exactly selling Albon’s seat to any top shelf driver by stating that it’s an unpredictable, difficult car that only Max can figure out. I don’t know what he’s trying to do. Clearly Albon is not making the grade, but he seems to be saying, it’s the best we can do with a mere mortal driver. But that good enough is not very good. Even Hulkenberg or Perez would have to think twice about that offer—they might stay on the grid but it might be the last year of their careers. What I don’t hear from RBR is any discussion of changing their aero or chassis philosophy to create a more pliable car. Don’t they want two cars up front?

    1. Well its better to be honest upfront than attract another disappointment as 2nd driver. And yes, I also feel Newey’s time may be up. Then again, he still produces the 2nd best car on the grid, or at least that is what Max makes it look like.

  17. I see a lot of comments here that state that RB has developed the car to suit MV’s driving style, and while that is true, there is the missconception that his driving style asks for a loose rear end. The fact that MV is the only driver so far that has been able to find a way to adapt to the car does not mean he wants that loose rear end. Fixing some of those issues would put Max in the position to challenge LH.
    RBR should have a driver that can help find and fix those problems, in my opinion Perez is the driver they need. He has been a constant key piece in the improvement of Sauber, Force India and Racing Point, those three teams have had their all time best seasons while SP was racing for them.
    Finally the podium thing, from 2016 until today there have only been 11 podiums from drivers outside of the top 3 teams, SP has 3 of them, 27%.

    1. I also think Perez needs a seat. But I don’t think that RBR doesn’t know how to make the car less jumpy. I’m certain that Albon and Gasly and any test driver has told them what to do in terms of set up and aero balance. But what they want is probably what makes the car exactly where Albon is putting it—.5s down on Verstappen and thus 3-5 places back at the start. I’m sure Checo will tell them, you need more roll compliance with static camber or whatever, and Newey will say, thanks, but we have a chassis team and they have made a car that qualifies P3, so get in and drive it.

      1. @DaveW @dmw I completely agree they can make the car less jumpy but the cost comes in speed, that is what makes the Mercs so special. I’m also sure that if MV can have the Q times to get P3, a better rear aero may easily get him to P2-P1. MV has complained several times about how the car behaves and yet manage to start the race in P3.
        It is the little details that a driver gives to the team that can help improve the finetuning in development/correctly setting up the car.

        1. So Max is actually at fault of the RB not being good enough, since he makes it look better than it actually is. Lets put Max in a racing point and that probably becomes the 2nd best car on the grid and puts Newey back to where he actually is, the nr 5 or 6 car.

  18. The best teammate to Verstappen would have been Alonso. He can drive anything at the highest level, and would really take the challenge to Verstappen. Too bad RB probably never even considered it.

    1. I agree. Letting alonso go was a huge mistake.

  19. János Henkelmann
    28th October 2020, 23:57

    I bet Horner and Marko have regretted many times that they let Daniel go/didn’t treat him better.

    There are not many drivers who can beat Max, and Daniel did from time to time!

    1. Ricciardo was treated perfectly fine.

      The Baku crash was Ricciardo’s fault. Over committed to a pass where there was no margin for error.

      Riccardo was beaten fair and square by Max.

      1. @ Bondo

        Riccardo was beaten fair and square by Max.

        Once.

        Max was beaten fair and square by Ricciardo. Twice.

  20. “So if we were to swap them back, why would it be any different?”

    One could also ask:

    “So if we don’t swap them, why would it be any different?”

    1. It seem Gasly performs ONLY when he is leading the teammate, specially if car is tailor some to his style, I also believe in Redbull you have to learn to drive Max’s car, an experience driver may adapt more without loosing so much, it seems the tires are an issue in that car for Albon at least, more reason to go to Perez.

    2. He is right though. Albon and Gasly will not get results with this car. They need the car to come to them. Great drivers need less of that and will come towards the car.

  21. One has to question why anyone in their right mind, given the opportunity wouldn’t have VER and RIC in their cars, any car is insane.

  22. The Red Bull is such a dog of a car that no matter who Red Bull puts in it, he wouldn’t be able to do a good job. It only shows that Max Verstappen is head & shoulders above the others and he’s able to drag the Red Bull to places it doesn’t deserve. The situation seems similar to Marc Marquez’s years at Repsol Honda in Moto GP. Even the great Jorge Lorenzo was clueless about riding the bike.

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