Red Bull drop Pierre Gasly and promote Alex Albon

Red Bull drop Pierre Gasly and promote Alex Albon

Red Bull drop Pierre Gasly and promote Alex Albon

F1 rookie Alex Albon says the news of his unexpected mid-season switch to Red Bull Racing is "surreal" and a "massive opportunity".

Alex Albon has been given a shock drive at Red Bull Racing for the remainder of the season, replacing Pierre Gasly who returns to Toro Rosso.

Albon became the first Thai driver in F1 in 65 years when he made his debut at this year's Australian Grand Prix. In fact, our very own Andy Franklin recently suggested that Daniil Kvyat (who knows the feeling of being dropped by Red Bull) was poised to take Gasly's place at the top table.

"Red Bull are in the unique position of having four talented Formula One drivers under contract who can be rotated between Aston Martin Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso", Red Bull said in a statement.

Albon's move to Red Bull will put him in a high-pressure environment, opposite the formidable Max Verstappen and with the ruthless Dr. Marko peering over his shoulder.

But question marks were swiftly being raised over his future as a driver alongside Verstappen at Red Bull.

After only 12 races in F1, you feel this could be slightly too early in the blossoming career of young Albon, who remarkably only drove in the wet for the first time in an F1 auto in Germany. He has scored 81 points in the last four races alone.

He finished third in the final standings behind the Mercedes-Benz and McLaren F1 Team juniors, with his race-craft and results seeing him offered a ride in Formula E before Formula 1 came calling.

The 23-year-old - born in England of a Thai mother - is promoted from Red Bull's sister team Toro Rosso whilst Frenchman Pierre Gasly will go in the opposite direction.

Team boss Christian Horner admitted post-Hungary that Gasly's performances were beginning to "hurt" Red Bull's chances of overhauling Ferrari for second place in the constructors' championship.

The Belgian Grand Prix at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit is on September 1 and is the first race after Formula One's August break.

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