Formula 1

Premature Red Bull Promotion Perhaps ‘Unfair’ on Gasly, Albon – Christian Horner

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Credit: Lars Baron/Getty Images

Christian Horner believes, with the benefit of hindsight, that Red Bull Racing promoted both Pierre Gasly and Alexander Albon to the team too early in their FIA Formula 1 World Championship careers.

The Team Principal of the Milton Keynes-based team points to the time it has taken the vastly more experienced Sergio Pérez to settle and be a frontrunner.  The Mexican has often played second fiddle to Max Verstappen, but heading into his third season, his level of performance is now much closer to his two-time World Championship winning team-mate.

When Daniel Ricciardo opted to leave Red Bull ahead of the 2019 season, the team opted to bring in Scuderia Toro Rosso’s Gasly as his replacement.  However, after a disappointing start, the team decided to replace him with Albon mid-season, again a promotion from Toro Rosso, with Gasly moving in the opposite direction.

Albon lasted until the end of the 2020 season before Pérez was brought in to replace him, and the Thai driver is now flourishing at Williams Racing and scored a top ten finish in the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix in 2023. 

Gasly also excelled back at Toro Rosso and then Scuderia AlphaTauri, with a victory in the 2020 Italian Grand Prix his highlight, and he now plies his trade at the BWT Alpine F1 Team and also scored points for his new team in Bahrain.

Horner says the promotions of Gasly and Albon were, regrettably perhaps, premature in happening, and ultimately it was unfair to bring them in as early as they did to the team and expect so much of them.

“I think the key thing in the appointment of Checo was his experience,” Horner is quoted as saying by PlanetF1.com. “And it had been unfair, perhaps, on the previous two guys [Gasly and Albon] to bring them in so soon.

“I think Checo with that experience, he’s been through some of the hard knocks and so on with his career to that point, and I think what he’s brought to us is… he’s a very rounded guy, he’s a great team player.

“He’s got a good outlook on the development of the car and he’s very easy to work with, so that’s all the reasons for taking him in the first place, and he’s delivering on that.”

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