Red Bull keeps Albon as Toro Rosso retains Kvyat and Gasly for 2020 F1 season
Red Bull Racing has confirmed that Alexander Albon will remain with the senior team alongside Max Verstappen for 2020 F1 season.
Having only made his F1 debut with Toro Rosso at the start of the 2019 season, Albon impressed all with his race craft despite the shortcomings at the start of the weekends and or qualifying. The Thai racer eventually got the nod to race with senior Red Bull team.
He replaced the struggling Pierre Gasly after the F1 summer break and since then has continued with his upward performance. With his results in US GP, Albon moved to sixth in the drivers' standings, with two races remaining in the season.
At the same time, Gasly got his rhythm back at Toro Rosso alongside Daniil Kvyat. However, his struggles with Red Bull earlier in the season went against the Frenchman as the senior management were won over by Albon's performances.
As a result, Albon has been confirmed to stay with Red Bull alongside Verstappen for a full-season in 2020. "I am really excited to be partnering Max again for next year and I know how fortunate I am to be given this opportunity," he said.
"I’m hugely thankful that Red Bull have put their trust in me and believed in my results since I joined the Team and for them to keep me in the car next year is a big deal. This year has been an incredible year for me.
"Getting the call up to Red Bull mid-season was already a big step, so now I will use the learnings from this season and use the experience to improve and fight at the front in 2020." Although there is no clarity, but it looks like a one-year deal.
At the same time, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner added: "Alex has performed extremely well since his debut with the Team in Belgium and his results – seven finishes in the top-six – speak for themselves.
"It’s extremely hard to deny that level of consistency and in tandem with a growing reputation as a tenacious, fiercely committed racer, Alex has proved that he fully deserves to continue his progress with Aston Martin Red Bull Racing. There is plenty of potential still to unlock and we look forward to seeing Alex alongside Max in 2020."
Toro Rosso story:
Toro Rosso will have the same driver line-up of Daniil Kvyat and Pierre Gasly for the 2020 F1 season after the Red Bull Racing announcement.
Just after the announcement from Red Bull, which signed Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon for the 2020 F1 season, sister outfit Toro Rosso also confirmed Kvyat and Gasly as their drivers for the new season, to complete the Red Bull family.
Kvyat made his return to Toro Rosso in 2019 after spending a year with Ferrari and scored a podium in German GP. The Russian had full eyes on the Red Bull seat as they juggled between Gasly and Albon but his chances were minimal.
At the same time, Gasly was promoted to Red Bull after a solid debut season with Toro Rosso but his struggles, relegated him to the junior team after summer break. Despite his positive results with the Faenza-based team, Gasly has lost out to Albon.
The Frenchman will stay back with Toro Rosso alongside Kvyat. "I’m really happy to continue with the team for 2020 and I’m sure we have exciting challenges ahead of us," said Gasly, upon the announcement.
"Toro Rosso has always given me the best chances to perform every season and I’m super motivated and dedicated to repaying them with the best results possible next year. Toro Rosso has been improving year after year and it’s great to be a part of the journey.
"I’m very excited to see what we can achieve together in 2020." Teammate Kvyat added: "It’s great to be confirmed with the team for 2020. I’m really happy because I feel very comfortable with everyone here, I know the team and they know me very well, so it’s easy to understand everyone’s needs.
"We’ve achieved great things together, like our podium this year in Germany, so I hope to deliver a very strong season again for this team next year. I’m grateful for the opportunity to continue in F1 and I will give it my all to show the best possible performances next year.
"I’m really looking forward to more exciting times together." And Franz Tost stated: "I’m delighted to retain Pierre and Daniil for next season. Both drivers have shown really good performances this season and they have proven in their years in F1 to be very competitive, able to exploit the car’s potential and give valuable feedback to make improvements.
"This young but experienced duo, combined with hopefully a competitive car, will be the best factors to achieve a very successful season in 2020 and I’m looking forward to this extended cooperation."
[Image courtesy: Red Bull Content Pool] [Note: This story was also written by me on FormulaRapida.net]