‘Gasly undone by crashes, Albon better than Kyvat’

Red Bull chose Alexander Albon to replace Pierre Gasly because Helmut Marko feels he is “better” than Daniil Kvyat while explaining that Gasly was undone by his testing crashes.

Last week Red Bull announced that Gasly, under-fire for a lack of results, would be heading back to Toro Rosso with immediate effect.

His place at Red Bull would go to rookie racer Albon for the final nine races, giving the team the opportunity to evaluate the driver before deciding on Max Verstappen’s 2020 team-mate.

Red Bull advisor Marko played a role in making the decision and recently explained it to Japanese publication, Autosport Web.

The Austrian reckons Red Bull did not see the best of Gasly this season as the Frenchman was unable to shrug off his pre-season crashes.

Gasly twice crashed the RB15 during the Barcelona tests, not only putting Red Bull on the back foot but he was also publicly blamed for the crashes by Marko.

“Not just once, but twice,” Marko told as-web.

“Yes, his crashes had a great effect on the team’s test programs. We were short on parts, and faced issues completing our tests.”

Asked if Gasly felt responsible, Marko said: “That’s definitely true. And even after the season began he was not able to erase it.”

He added: “Pierre until this year was fast, and there was no hesitation in overtaking during the race.

“However, the original speed has not come out at all this year.”

As for the team’s decision to put Albon in the car, Marko says he has been impressed by the Thai-British driver’s performances in his debut campaign.

“I am optimistic,” he said.

“To be honest it was unexpected that he showed such a good performance in his first year.

“Moreover, he has made steady progress from race to race.

“Alex’s contract only covers the remaining nine races of this year.

“No one has yet decided who will be Max’s team-mate next year so Alex should be able to grow and race without feeling any extra pressure.”

The decision to put Albon in the car instead of Daniil Kvyat came as a surprise to many especially as the latter is the one who stood on the podium at this year’s German GP.

Marko explained: “I think Albon is better.

“We know how fast Kvyat is, we can say that he has become a more complete driver. However, based on all factors, we chose Alex.”

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Marko: Gasly does not like to overtake

Pierre Gasly “does not like to overtake” and that’s why Red Bull opted to drop him in favour of testing Alexander Albon, so says Helmut Marko.

Gasly was promoted to Red Bull in the off-season, replacing the Renault-bound Daniel Ricciardo.

At the time Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said Gasly’s step up was sooner than they had wanted for the Frenchman but that Red Bull would give him time to find his feet.

However, after 12 races, in which he only once beat his team-mate Max Verstappen, Red Bull’s patience wore out.

The team announced on Monday that Gasly would be heading back to Toro Rosso with his Red Bull seat going to Albon with immediate effect.

Explaining the decision, Marko told Auto Bild: “Gasly has problems in traffic because he loses places and he does not like to overtake, so we had to react and give Albon a chance before the season ends.

“Gasly takes over his Toro Rosso and then we see who drives alongside Max next year.”

With the Gasly situation resolved, Marko is hoping for a strong finish to this season for Red Bull.

Although Red Bull remain third in the standings, the RB15 has been the second best – if not the best – car out on track in recent races.

Having bagged just two podiums in the first eight races, Verstappen has three in the last four including two race wins.

Marko explained: “We built a car with too little downforce, we just underestimated how much progress our new engine partner Honda made, and they delivered more power than we thought.

“That’s why we originally wanted to compensate for the missing horsepower with a chassis that is very aerodynamically efficient.

“But we corrected that and at the last races we were almost on par with Mercedes. We have definitely overtaken Ferrari.

“I think we will be competitive on every kind of racetrack in the second half of the season.”

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Max: Of course it’s a pity for Pierre but…

Pierre Gasly probably shouldn’t head to Max Verstappen’s place for a shoulder to cry on after the Dutchman said his axing is for the good of the team.

Red Bull wielded the axe on Gasly on Monday, announcing that the Frenchman would be heading back to Toro Rosso with immediate effect with his Red Bull seat going to Alexander Albon.

The announcement did not come as a surprise, despite Red Bull’s numerous assurances that Gasly’s seat was safe.

The 23-year-old had managed just a third of Verstappen’s points in the first 12 races of 2019 and, while his team-mate faught for what would have been a third win of this season in Hungary, Gasly was being lapped.

But while Verstappen says he feels for his former team-mate, he understands why Red Bull made the call.

“Of course it is a pity for Pierre, but I personally don’t care much who my team-mate is,” he told De Telegraaf.

“The point is that we need to perform better with the other car and thereby gain more points for the team.”

Meanwhile Gasly’s manager has told RMC Sport that his return to Toro Rosso will allow the driver to show “his true value at a team he loves and with whom he has already proven”.

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Giedo tells Gasly: Prove everyone wrong

Demoted to Toro Rosso after struggling at Red Bull, Giedo van der Garde has told Pierre Gasly to “prove everyone wrong” and “give ‘m hell”.

Although Red Bull went into the summer break proclaiming that they would not change their driver line up before the end of this season, the team announced on Monday that Gasly would be returning to Toro Rosso with immediate effect.

His place at Red Bull would be filled by Alexander Albon, the rookie taking the step up after just 12 races in Formula 1.

Red Bull stated in their press release that the move was being made with an eye to evaluating the drivers before making a call on Max Verstappen’s 2020 team-mate.

That means the although his situation is painful, the door has not been completely shut for Gasly.

But van der Garde says it is up to the Frenchman to fight for his place at Red Bull.

Following Monday’s announcement, the former Caterham driver took to Instagram and wrote: “Back in 2013 my results halfway at Caterham F1 weren’t as I expected, neither what the team expected.

“It was my first year in Formula One, and soon I realised how everything happened in a blink of a second.

“One race a crash, the other one mechanical issues and before you know it you’re under a level of pressure you’ve never experienced.

“”It’s only the first year, keep calm, you’ve showed it in GP2, the coin will flip your side again” is what I kept telling myself.

“Then the phone rang.

“It was my team boss, who I always had a good relationship with. “Listen mate, screw up the next race and you’re out.”

“Silence. End of conversation.

“I didn’t panic though, but turned the pressure into motivation.

“Next race was Spa, where I ended up in Q2, and got hugged by the team boss again. That’s F1 too.

“Long story short; I feel for Pierre.

“But never give up mate, get your confidence back and the flow you were in last year and I’m sure you can prove everyone wrong.

“Give ‘m hell.”

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Eff you red bull…EFF YOU!!

You’ve gone and done it again 🤦🏻‍♀️ and the fact you’ve had Christian come out a month ago saying “Pierre is S A F E” and look…he’s been replaced

I feel so sorry for this little bean…he was never, EVER given a chance. I just hope the pressure is less back at Toro and he can prove why he deserves that goddam seat!!

We love you Pierre

Oh P.S – I am a huge red bull fan they are my team. I will all support and stand by them but this…this has really pissed me off