“Public pressure” and “media scrutiny” played a major role in Red Bull’s decision to drop Pierre Gasly in favour of Alexander Albon, according to Christian Horner.
Although he didn’t stink the place out, he still came up well short when compared to Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen and the powers that be eventually decided to cut their losses after the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Gasly was demoted to Toro Rosso with Albon replacing him in the senior squad and Red Bull team boss Horner admits outside factors played a role.
“Obviously we felt that with the pressure building on him, the public pressure, the media scrutiny, it was right to remove him from that and put him into the slightly less pressured environment of Toro Rosso,” he is quoted as saying by the official F1 website.
“And since that switch I think he has driven again exceptionally well. You can see his confidence is growing. He’s driven some very strong races and his pace is getting better and better. He looks happier in that environment, which is good to see.”
Horner says a difficult pre-season certainly contributed to Gasly’s poor start at Red Bull.
“I think that obviously for Pierre it was very tough for him coming into the start of the season off the back of two accidents in pre-season and that I think definitely affected his confidence, and, of course, being the team mate to Max Verstappen is a very tough job to have, having that reference point… it was a difficult first half of the season for him,” he added.