Max Verstappen feels the decision by his Aston Martin Red Bull Racing team to retain Alexander Albon for the 2020 Formula 1 season is the right call, and he believes the call was a smart one.
Albon was confirmed earlier this week to remain at Red Bull after initially being promoted to the line-up in place of Pierre Gasly after the summer break, with the Thai driver finishing inside the top six in each of his seven races.
After finishing fourth in the Japanese Grand Prix and running as high as third in Mexico, Albon was given the news that he would be retained for 2020 after his fighting drive to fifth during the United States Grand Prix. Albon was forced to pit for a new front wing assembly at the end of the first lap after contact at turn one, but the Thai driver made good ground thereafter to claim an excellent fifth place.
Speaking ahead of this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix, Verstappen has welcomed the decision and says that since Albon has joined the team, he has been doing a strong job and scoring good points in every race, something that his predecessor Gasly was struggling to do in the first half of the season.
“He’s a nice guy and I think for him the last 12 months have been a bit of a rollercoaster!” Verstappen is quoted as saying by Motorsport.com. “He’s very laid back, very relaxed, people like him in the team. He’s easy-going, which helps.
“He’s quick, doing his job, he’s getting the points. I think it was the smartest way of continuing.”
The decision to retain Albon rather than recall either Gasly or Daniil Kvyat to Red Bull was made by Team Principal Christian Horner and Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko, and Verstappen says he did not want to be consulted to who he would prefer to have as his 2020 team-mate.
“At the end of the day it’s not up to me to judge his performance,” insisted Verstappen. “It’s Christian [Horner] and Helmut [Marko] who make the decisions.”