Red Bull Formula 1 chief Christian Horner says “nobody” within the team disagreed with the decision to swap its drivers half-way through the 2019 season.

F1 rookie Alexander Albon was drafted into Red Bull’s line-up alongside Max Verstappen for the Belgian Grand Prix after just 12 grand prix starts, replacing Pierre Gasly, who returned to Toro Rosso after a tough start to life at the Milton Keynes squad.

Albon impressed on his Red Bull at Spa, recovering from the back-of-the-grid start - due to a penalty for an engine change - to finish a strong fifth and claim his best result of his fledging grand prix career so far.

Asked who had made the final call over the decision, Horner replied: “Ultimately it’s Dietrich [Mateschitz’s] decision, it’s his team.

“Of course a recommendation goes to him. We discussed it internally, between Helmut [Marko] and myself, we discussed it with our engineering team, and Adrian [Newey], and there was nobody who disagreed with it.

“I think, certainly in the garage, it has put a spring in everyone’s step.”

Horner explained Red Bull’s thinking behind its decision to pick Albon over his more experienced teammate Daniil Kvyat, who had just scored a brilliant podium in Germany shortly before the announcement.

“We considered Daniil of course, he is doing a very good job with Toro Rosso this year but we felt a few things,” he said.

“One that it would be perhaps hurting Toro Rosso too much by taking their most experienced driver away, and we also felt that we’ve got a pretty good understanding of Daniil.

“He’s been in the programme for some time, he’s driven for Red Bull Racing previously. We were quite keen to have a look at Albon based on his emerging ability during that first 12-race period.”

 

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