Red Bull chief gives savage explanation for axing Pierre Gasly for Alex Albon in F1 break

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F1 ‘silly season’ has already begun with Red Bull changing their driver line-up for the second half of the season.

Gasly has struggled as the No 2 driver in his debut season with Red Bull, finishing higher than sixth on only two occasions.

He sits 69 points behind Charles Leclerc in the driver standings and only five ahead of McLaren’s Carlos Sainz Jr.

And Red Bull have moved quickly to improve their chances in the constructors’ championships by axing the Frenchman.

Albon will now take his seat for the final nine races of the season with a chance of securing his place for next year.

Gasly could still have a chance of regaining his seat if he impresses at Toro Rosso.

But Marko, the head of Red Bull’s driver development program, suggested the 23-year-old will need to make some major improvements.

“Gasly has problems in traffic, he loses places and he can’t overtake,” Marko told Auto Bild.

“So we had to react and give Albon a chance until the end of the season.

“Gasly takes his place at Toro Rosso and then we see who will be driving next year next to Max.”

Red Bull currently sit 44 points behind Ferrari in the constructors’ championships, but Marko insists the team are confident of being on a par with Mercedes in the second half of the season.

“We built a car with too little downforce, we just underestimated how much progress our new engine partner Honda made, and they delivered more power than we thought,” he added.

“That’s why we originally wanted to compensate for the missing horsepower with a chassis that is very aerodynamically efficient.

“But we corrected that and at the last races we were almost on par with Mercedes.

“We have definitely overtaken Ferrari.”

He added: “I think we will be competitive on every kind of racetrack in the second half of the season.”

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