Published: Tue, August 13, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Red Bull F1 dumps Pierre Gasly mid-season, replaced by Alexander Albon

Red Bull F1 dumps Pierre Gasly mid-season, replaced by Alexander Albon

Aston Martin Red Bull Racing has announced that junior bull Alex Albon will replace Pierre Gasly at the Milton Keynes-based outfit from the upcoming Belgian Grand Prix at Spa.

Mr Albon, who grew up in Bures near Sudbury and went to Ipswich School, will be joining Red Bull Racing from the next race in Belgium.

His sudden Red Bull Racing move is billed as a chance to evaluate him for a possible full season as Verstappen's team-mate next year.

Daniil Kvyat had been considered favourite to move up from Toro Rosso had Red Bull chose to drop Gasly either during this year or ahead of next season.

Gasly was recruited by Red Bull as a replacement for Renault-bound Daniel Ricciardo for this season but has scored just 63 points to Verstappen's 181.

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Last month's German Grand Prix at Hockenheim was Albon's first wet F1 race and he now finds himself in a winning auto after just 12 grand prix starts.

Although Christian Horner told reporters after the Hungarian GP "our intention is to leave him in the vehicle until the end of the year", the Red Bull boss added that "we desperately need to see him realising more of the potential of the auto". In the last two rounds he retired in Germany after contact with Albon while team-mate Max Verstappen won, and was sixth in Hungary while Verstappen took pole and finished second.

In 2016, it was Max Verstappen getting called up from Toro Rosso, while Daniil Kvyat was sent down.

'Everyone at Aston Martin Red Bull Racing looks forward to welcoming Alex to the team and supporting him during the next phase of his F1 career'.

Albon has got himself noticed this season with strong performances, singled out even in testing by team boss Franz Tost as the potential surprise of the season. In the same press conference, Horner conceded that Gasly's performances had left Red Bull "one-legged" in too many races this year and that it needed its second driver to score more points in order to challenge Ferrari for second place in the constructors' championship.

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