Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner has levelled praise at Pierre Gasly for his charging performance in the Belgian Grand Prix, exactly a year after he was dropped from the ‘A’ team for disappointing results.
 
The Frenchman was promoted from Toro Rosso to Red Bull at the start of the 2019 F1 season but endured a troubled campaign as he struggled to get to grips with the machine, at least relative to team-mate Max Verstappen.
 
Prompting Red Bull to demote him back to Toro Rosso and replace him with Alex Albon, he has enjoyed something of a renaissance in seemingly less pressured surroundings, notching up a maiden podium in Brazil last season before the year was out.


 
Retained within the Red Bull fold with as Toro Rosso was rebranded AlphaTauri, Gasly has steadily tallied up the points so far this year - with a best finish of seventh achieved twice - and is comfortably clear of team-mate Daniil Kvyat
 
By contrast, Albon has drawn parallels with his successor a year on from him getting his debut with the top team at Spa-Francorchamps. For now Horner is pleased to see Gasly back in form but says it isn’t going to inspire another shuffle.
 
“Well I think he's performing well in the environment that AlphaTauri. I think the car is a good car this year, I think it's an easier car perhaps to drive than our car has been at times but I think, Alex is, you know, performances on Sundays have been very strong. 
 
“He drove another good race today; his defending, his overtaking, his attacking is always strong and I think we're going in the right direction so I think it's good to see Pierre getting back up to speed, which is why he's still on the programme. But we're happy with the way things are.”
 
Again unable to get on terms with Verstappen, Albon endured the ignominy of being beaten by both Renaults en route to sixth position, with Esteban Ocon passing him on the final lap. However, Red Bull says it was satisfied with its strategy.
 
“We felt that would be the best chance to have against the Renaults [and] we managed to get one of them at the pitstop, the guys did it a faster pitstop than the Renault. And we felt that that would be the best tyre to be able to attack them.
 
“[But it got deg, so] Alex, just wasn't able to hang on to that fifth place at the end. But I think nonetheless he did good job, defending hard throughout the grand prix.”
 
Despite the indifferent results, Albon’s consistency places him fourth in the overall standings heading after eight of 17 rounds.

 

 

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