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Albon to replace Gasly at Red Bull
#1
Checkered-flag https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2019/a...-f1-season Checkered-flag

Alexander Albon, the British-Thai driver, has been promoted to the Red Bull Formula One team and will make his first appearance for them in the next round at Spa. In an unexpected decision, the 23-year-old still in his debut F1 season, will replace Pierre Gasly, who has been demoted into Albon’s seat with Red Bull’s sister squad Toro Rosso having underperformed so far this season.

Albon has competed in 12 races with Toro Rosso this season and impressed while Gasly has not in what is his first year with Red Bull. After the last round in Hungary, Red Bull’s team principal Christian Horner said there was no intent to replace the Frenchman. However, he did also note that Gasly had not been “in the mix at all”.

Indeed, Gasly has not only been way off the pace of his teammate Max Verstappen but of other drivers around him. He has 63 points to Verstappen’s 181 and is only five points in front of McLaren’s Carlos Sainz, who is driving a car demonstrably not as quick as the Red Bull. It will not be lost on Red Bull that last season they opted to bring Gasly rather than Sainz into their team.



I have to say, I think this is a really reckless move by Red Bull. It's true that Gasly has been underperforming this year, but I think that's because they promoted him when he wasn't ready for it. Albon is even less experienced, and he hasn't done anything to show that he deserves a promotion to the main team: his races at the junior team have been solid, but nothing spectacular.

I understand that Albon's team-mate, Daniil Kvyat, probably wasn't a good candidate either. He's had chance after chance, and his only great result was his 3rd place in this year's German Grand Prix - which was impressive, but one swallow doesn't make a summer, especially for a driver whose past record is otherwise mediocre. Really, putting Kvyat in the Red Bull would have been nothing more than a stop-gap measure - and, if Red Bull wanted a stop-gap, then they would have just kept Gasly on the team.

My worry is, Gasly's confidence may be knocked, and Albon might crack under the ridiculous amount of pressure that's just been placed on his shoulders. If they're not careful, then Red Bull will end up destroying the careers of both drivers :ermm: ...
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#2
Unfortunately some teams are desperate for results, even if it's detrimental to the drivers.
Hard to perform well if you feel like you could be fired at any moment.
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#3
Yeah, I feel like they've jumped the gun with this one. It could turn out to be a brilliant move - Verstappen wasn't exactly experienced when he was shifted up to Red Bull - but I feel like they're too desperate to find a second driver at the moment. I'm still surprised they let Ricciardo go so easily.
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(08-12-2019, 07:09 PM)Pyrite Wrote: Yeah, I feel like they've jumped the gun with this one. It could turn out to be a brilliant move - Verstappen wasn't exactly experienced when he was shifted up to Red Bull - but I feel like they're too desperate to find a second driver at the moment. I'm still surprised they let Ricciardo go so easily.

Yeah, that's the thing about Red Bull's moves. They're so brilliant when they're right (e.g. with Verstappen) that people don't notice they're often wrong :P .

If this works out, then it'll be a masterstroke - but if it doesn't, then Red Bull will look very foolish. There's not really any middle ground here.
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#5
I sorta expected this to happen since I think Pierre Gasly is just underwhelming to watch, being lapped by his own teammate.

However, what I still find interesting is that they brought Albon into the seat. Kid's just a rookie (iirc) and prob might succumb to pressure. 

But it's f1, anything can happen in that field of drivers.
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#6
One thing I'll point out is: I've seen some fans suggesting that Red Bull might have offered the seat to Kvyat, but he might have turned it down, because with all the other stuff going on in his life right now (e.g. recently became a father), he didn't want the extra pressure.

Myself, I don't believe it for one second: I think any driver not in a Mercedes, Ferrari or Red Bull would jump at the chance to drive one of those three cars, no matter the circumstances. Still, I thought I should throw it out there :P .
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#7
Well, now it's emerged that the seat was offered to Fernando Alonso, but he turned it down:

https://www.foxsports.com.au/motorsport/...51e8aebc53

A pity: I would have liked to see this :( . Or, failing that, I think Sainz would have been a good option, but I guess that bridge has been burned now. Which is why they've been left scraping the bottom of the barrel by promoting Albon instead.
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