It was revealed last week that Red Bull had taken the decision to promote former Toro Rosso driver Alexander Albon to the main team, alongside Max Verstappen.
This move meant that Albon takes 23-year-old Frenchman Pierre Gasly’s place in the coveted top spot, demoting Gasly to Red Bull’s sister team, where he had achieved much success in previous years.
The 21-year-old Dutchman has recently spoken to De Telegraaf newspaper about the move, and it’s clear he’s not fussed by the decision.
“Of course, it’s a pity for Pierre. But personally, I don’t care who my teammate is,” he said, as per Autoweek.
Clearly, Verstappen is not bothered as to who he is paired with. You can see why though; at 17 years and 166 days old, he became the youngest driver to ever compete in Formula One.
He also became the youngest-ever winner of a Grand Prix in Spain, back in 2016, as well as the first racing under a Dutch flag. He manages well enough on his own.
The Bulls lock horns 🐂
— Formula 1 (@F1) August 18, 2019
Verstappen’s new teammate Albon has a remarkable track record in his career so far.
Speaking to German car magazine Auto Bild, Dr. Helmut Marko, the main decision-maker on Red Bull drivers, said that Albon has had a “great debut season” so far.
“He has squeezed everything from his car.”
He also added that ‘Gasly has problems in traffic because he loses places and doesn’t like to overtake.’
“We had to react and give Albon the chance until the end of the season.
“Gasly takes over at Toro Rosso and then we will see who is next to Max next year.”
2/2: Thanks to all the guys at @ToroRosso, especially Franz Tost for the massive opportunity in F1 and never-ending support throughout my first year! Now to focus for my first race with the team in Spa 🇧🇪 pic.twitter.com/KvgNmtlkSx
— Alex Albon (@alex_albon) August 12, 2019
It has also been reported by France’s RMC Sport that Gasly was told about his demotion while on holiday, only a couple of hours before the news was made public. Their source also said that Gasly had a difficult relationship with his engineers.
Overall, however, Verstappen supported Red Bull’s choice to opt for a stronger second driver.
“The point is that we perform better with the other car and gain more points for the team,” he said.
Half-time substitution 🔀
— Formula 1 (@F1) August 12, 2019
With this new Red Bull grouping, Marko is very confident.
“This year, we built a car with less downforce as we underestimated Honda’s progress. We didn’t expect such a powerful engine,” he said.
“But now, we have fixed everything and are now close to Mercedes and definitely faster than Ferrari. I think we will be competitive everywhere in the second half of the season.”