They’ve done it again. Red Bull has pulled off another shocking mid-season move, sending one of its drivers “down” to Toro Rosso in order to gauge someone else’s talents.
In 2016, it was Max Verstappen getting called up from Toro Rosso, while Daniil Kvyat was sent down. Now, it’s Pierre Gasly who’ll be returning to his former team, with former F2 runner-up Alex Albon set to team up with Verstappen for the remainder of the season.
It’s been a tough season for Gasly at Red Bull, as the Frenchman has struggled to keep up with his teammate – scoring just 63 points to Verstappen’s 181. He also hasn’t amassed any podium finishes, despite racing in a car that has already taken Verstappen to two race wins and another top 3 finishes.
Albon on the other hand has reportedly impressed with his speed and maturity, having scored 16 points from 12 races so far. His best result was a P6 finish in Germany, which also happened to be his first wet race.
“Red Bull are in the unique position of having four talented Formula 1 drivers under contract who can be rotated between Aston Martin Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso,” said Red Bull in a statement. “The team will use the next nine races to evaluate Alex’s performance in order to make an informed decision as to who will drive alongside Max in 2020.”
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“Everyone at Aston Martin Red Bull Racing looks forward to welcoming Alex to the Team and supporting him during the next phase of his F1 career.”
Despite looking promising, Albon’s rookie year hasn’t exactly been stellar, as he’s so far been out-performed by his current teammate Daniil Kvyat at Toro Rosso. However, trying him out on a faster car is a win-win scenario, seen as how Gasly hasn’t exactly been performing as expected.
The 23-year old British-born Thai driver will make his Red Bull debut at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium, 30 Aug – 01 Sep 2019.