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WOW! Alexander Albon has been promoted to Red Bull Racing to drive alongside Max [edited]


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#601 statman

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Posted 18 August 2019 - 11:05

Marko is in Japan for the Super Formula weekend and gave an interview:

 

https://www.as-web.j...mula/512963?all

 

courtesy of reddit:

 

--What is the thing you value the most when evaluating young talent?
 
Marko: I don’t want to expose trade secrets, so I’ll say one thing. Quickness. Over one lap, not overall race pace. I was once interested in a driver (a current F1 driver), and thought he was a very good driver. However, he lacked one lap pace, so I passed on bringing him into the Red Bull program. Today, he races quite well on Sundays, but is falling behind his teammate on Saturdays. My view of him was correct in the end, and his qualifying performance is hampering him.
 
--Come on, tell us another.
 
Marko: Mental toughness.
 
--How do you evaluate that?
 
Marko: We’ve been using various tests for the past few years that can quantify this. However, I still value talking to drivers directly and evaluating this. And I’ve rarely made any mistakes in my judgement. A typical, or an extreme example of this was Max. The first time I spoke to him, I sensed his mental fortitude.
 
--When was this?
 
Marko: When he was 15.
 
--Pierre Gasly was meant to be no slouch mentally.
 
Marko: That’s what I thought as well.
 
--Before Hungary, you haven’t publicly touched on the possibility of a driver swap mid-season. Was Hungary a turning point that brought about the decision?
 
Marko: You can say that. Not only did he fall behind at the start, but he struggled to make a move on Sainz, let alone pass him. This was despite Pierre’s pace being much better than Sainz. He eventually finished a lap down from the front.
 
--From somebody that has seen him last season, Pierre seems to be a different man now. Is this a mental issue?
 
Marko: I believe so. Pierre up until last season was quick over one lap, and didn’t hesitate to overtake during the race. But he hasn’t performed like that this season.
 
--And you’re saying that this is a psychological issue.
 
Marko: I think so.
 
--I’ve been wanting to ask you this, but do you believe that his early crash during winter testing affected his performance?
 
Marko: Not just once, but twice. Yes, his crashes had a great effect on the team’s test programs. We were short on parts, and faced issues completing our tests.
 
--And Gasly felt responsible for it?
 
Marko: Definitely so. And he was unable to move forward, even as the season started.
 
--Albon might not be ready mentally for the sudden promotion. Isn’t there a risk of him turning out like Gasly?
 
Marko: I’m optimistic. To be honest, I didn’t expect him to perform so well in his first season. He’s improving every race, too. Moreover Alex’s contract is only for the remaining 9 rounds. Nothing has been decided regarding Max’s teammate next season. So Alex doesn’t need to put any pressure on himself; he just needs to drive like himself.
 
--I see. Still, Kvyat has outperformed him in quali and races. Why have you chosen Albon despite this?
 
Marko: There’s no “despite” here. I just thought that Albon was the more appropriate choice. We already know how quick Kvyat is. He has also recovered well from his release from Red Bull. He has become a very complete driver. So we considered all of these factors, and decided to go with Albon's promise.


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#602 Pitlane

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Posted 18 August 2019 - 14:19

ill be laughing at them if Gasly keeps beating Kvyat, while Albon is cruising in the midfield in that RedBull :)

 

It would be such comedy gold, im almost hoping for it.  :rotfl:



#603 Fatgadget

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Posted 18 August 2019 - 16:03

Come to think of it,what other teams have replaced drivers mid-season other than prison/life/death scenarios?



#604 PayasYouRace

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Posted 18 August 2019 - 16:05

Unless I’m missing something about your question, it would probably be too many to list.

#605 Touchdown

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Posted 18 August 2019 - 16:22

 

Marko: I don’t want to expose trade secrets, so I’ll say one thing. Quickness. Over one lap, not overall race pace. I was once interested in a driver (a current F1 driver), and thought he was a very good driver. However, he lacked one lap pace, so I passed on bringing him into the Red Bull program. Today, he races quite well on Sundays, but is falling behind his teammate on Saturdays. My view of him was correct in the end, and his qualifying performance is hampering him.

Curious as to who he's referring to here. It describes Sainz (who was in the Red Bull program, so obviously Marko is not talking about him), Stroll, and to an extent, Hulkenberg and Magnussen.

 

Wonder who Marko was looking at for the RB young driver program?



#606 w1Y

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Posted 18 August 2019 - 16:24

Who is he talking about in the first question? Kryvat or Sainz

#607 Jellyfishcake

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Posted 18 August 2019 - 17:04

Who is he talking about in the first question? Kryvat or Sainz

 

Well it's definitely not the two you mentioned. 

 

My first thought was Lance Stroll, as crazy as it sound he's the most obvious driver who sucks on a Saturday and does well on a Sunday. 



#608 Fatgadget

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Posted 18 August 2019 - 17:27

Unless I’m missing something about your question, it would probably be too many to list.

Other than Gachot and Sutil  the past 20 odd years, who else?



#609 noikeee

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Posted 18 August 2019 - 18:26

Other than Gachot and Sutil the past 20 odd years, who else?


Nick Heidfeld (Renault/Lotus), Jacques Villeneuve (BMW), Sebastian Bourdais (Toro Rosso), Scott Speed (Toro Rosso), Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus), Nelson Piquet Jr (Renault), we're gonna be here all day listing drivers really

#610 Fatgadget

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Posted 18 August 2019 - 19:32

Nick Heidfeld (Renault/Lotus), Jacques Villeneuve (BMW), Sebastian Bourdais (Toro Rosso), Scott Speed (Toro Rosso), Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus), Nelson Piquet Jr (Renault), we're gonna be here all day listing drivers really

Red Bull serial culprits on this one I say! :p



#611 Rodaknee

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Posted 18 August 2019 - 19:32

 

Marko: I don’t want to expose trade secrets

 

Who's the competition Herr Doktor?  Motor racing isn't football with dozens of teams chasing the next star.

 

Marko comes across as super successful, but I'm not so sure.  He's had a huge amount of money to throw at young drivers, but he's not been producing a stream of F1 champions.  I understood RB were providing training for their young drivers, so why give up on a kid who could be taught to improve their one lap pace?  It strikes me that Marko is using 20/20 hindsight in an attempt to cover his failure to sign up a driver who's got into F1 without RB money.



#612 Marklar

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Posted 18 August 2019 - 20:10

Curious as to who he's referring to here. It describes Sainz (who was in the Red Bull program, so obviously Marko is not talking about him), Stroll, and to an extent, Hulkenberg and Magnussen.

Wonder who Marko was looking at for the RB young driver program?

It's 100 % Stroll. He was rumoured to become a Red Bull junior at some point iirc and it does describe him well.

#613 noikeee

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 00:09

It's 100 % Stroll. He was rumoured to become a Red Bull junior at some point iirc and it does describe him well.


Does sound like him yeah

#614 A3

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 06:00

Other than Gachot and Sutil  the past 20 odd years, who else?


https://www.formula1...0nhSjaGESv.html

#615 Tenmantaylor

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 08:31

Shouldn't say that I didn't see this comming, but... I didn't see it coming.
I hope it works out for Albon better than it did last time for Kvyat


And for gasly and webber and ricciardo

#616 A3

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 08:54

Ricciardo? As far as I'm aware he left Red Bull because he wanted to and Red Bull did everything to keep him. He's doing pretty well for himself.

Edited by A3, 19 August 2019 - 08:55.


#617 SenorSjon

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 11:58

Ricciardo? As far as I'm aware he left Red Bull because he wanted to and Red Bull did everything to keep him. He's doing pretty well for himself.

 

In financial way, yes. Sportive? I don't think so.



#618 Reddington

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 12:27

Sportive? I don't think so.


And that’s Red Bull’s fault how again?

#619 PedroDiCasttro

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 13:03

I think it's quite clear now that Albon's in the Red Bull in order to be evaluated for 2020. And there will be a three-way battle to see who is driving that car next season.

 

As Marko said, Albon's contract only runs until the end of the current season, so if he doesn't perform "accordingly", they won't face any contractual issues releasing him.



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#620 Clatter

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 13:08

It's 100 % Stroll. He was rumoured to become a Red Bull junior at some point iirc and it does describe him well.

He was in the Ferrari academy, don't remember any RB connection.

#621 SenorSjon

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 13:20

And that’s Red Bull’s fault how again?

 

A3 stated: "he's doing pretty well for himself".

 

Moneywise yes, but car performance isn't there. Not even close to an incidental podium. It is actually funny the only non top3 podium is a Toro Rosso.



#622 BRG

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 16:20

I think we may have discovered the flaw in Marko's method.  He think going fast on Saturday is more important than going fast in the race - you know, the event where they actually award points.   No wonder the RB junior programme has produced so many duds.  their only real success is the guy who WASN'T a RB Junior.

 

Time for RB to make another mid-season change, I think.  Draft in Eddie Jordan instead.  How can he do any worse?



#623 Jellyfishcake

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 17:39

I think we may have discovered the flaw in Marko's method.  He think going fast on Saturday is more important than going fast in the race - you know, the event where they actually award points.   No wonder the RB junior programme has produced so many duds.  their only real success is the guy who WASN'T a RB Junior.

 

Time for RB to make another mid-season change, I think.  Draft in Eddie Jordan instead.  How can he do any worse?

 

Vettel was 100% a RB Junior



#624 A3

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 19:37

In financial way, yes. Sportive? I don't think so.


But that's his choice, he knew what he would get. If that makes him happy, he's doing well for himself.

I think deep down he has regrets, but he will never admit that.

#625 Marklar

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 19:38

The only reason why Marko's thinking might make sense is that in theory it's easier for a driver to learn tyre management - which is the biggest factor in race pace nowadays - than for him to develop sheer speed. However in practice this doesnt appear to be quite the case: the top guys are much more vulnerable over one lap than they are over the race distance...

#626 A3

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Posted Yesterday, 08:13

The only reason why Marko's thinking might make sense is that in theory it's easier for a driver to learn tyre management - which is the biggest factor in race pace nowadays - than for him to develop sheer speed. However in practice this doesnt appear to be quite the case: the top guys are much more vulnerable over one lap than they are over the race distance...

Well, if you look at Hungary, both Max and Lewis were pushing flat out for most of the race, which is not something that usually happens.

Had Pierre qualified better, he could have been of some help with the pitstops.

#627 ElectricBoogie

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Posted Yesterday, 08:36

It's 100 % Stroll. He was rumoured to become a Red Bull junior at some point iirc and it does describe him well.

Makes you wonder. How'd he do in a Red Bull?
Qualify around 6th-7th, then make up a few places on the first lap. Settle in and score the odd podium and even winin a Hockenheim kind of situation? Might he be better than Gasly on recent form?
In a Red Bull, would he have lost that lead in Germany? He was not flawless but thoroughly on it.
Driving a Red Bull might get him in the lead more often as the car is simply 1-2 seconds faster every lap.
He's not dog slow also, proven by his Monza F1 quali debut. Oddly capable in the wet/changing conditions.
Maybe like a Hulk, but slower ion one dry lap, as good or better in the race?


Edited by ElectricBoogie, Yesterday, 08:38.


#628 SenorSjon

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Posted Yesterday, 10:00

The only reason why Marko's thinking might make sense is that in theory it's easier for a driver to learn tyre management - which is the biggest factor in race pace nowadays - than for him to develop sheer speed. However in practice this doesnt appear to be quite the case: the top guys are much more vulnerable over one lap than they are over the race distance...

 

Nyck de Vries says hi, ;)



#629 Imateria

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Posted Yesterday, 11:13

Well, if you look at Hungary, both Max and Lewis were pushing flat out for most of the race, which is not something that usually happens.

Had Pierre qualified better, he could have been of some help with the pitstops.

Qualifying wasn't Pierre's problem in Hungary, he was pretty close to Verstappen, it was the race where he dropped half a dozen places at the start and struggled to make many of them back.

 

 

Marko:  And I’ve rarely made any mistakes in my judgement.
 

 

And here is Marko's single biggest problem, abject arrogance. Someone who cuts 90% of the drivers he hires onto hsi development programe can't remotely pretend he doesn't make mistakes.



#630 A3

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Posted Yesterday, 11:21

Qualifying wasn't Pierre's problem in Hungary, he was pretty close to Verstappen,


I'm sorry? I must have watched a different qualifying.


P1 Max Verstappen 1min 14.572sec
P6 Pierre Gasly 1min 15.450sec

That's almost a second. Of the entire grid, only Russel had a bigger gap to his teammate.

#631 ElectricBoogie

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Posted Yesterday, 11:22

 

And here is Marko's single biggest problem, abject arrogance. Someone who cuts 90% of the drivers he hires onto hsi development programe can't remotely pretend he doesn't make mistakes.

Well, it's a selection process, you can't just gamble on a single driver and expect them to do well in F1 down the line.
However, he boots drivers and hires back a signficant number of them. Boots Albon, re-hires him and them promotes to main team after just 12 races in F1. They didn't see that coming or at best wanted someone else to take the gamble on him to fund F2 and the like. But only bought him out from Nissan when they were stuck without drivers they actually wanted. Kvyat hired back as well. He did great work with Ferrari and thrived there compared to the pressure even at STR. 



#632 TomNokoe

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Posted Yesterday, 11:26

Makes you wonder. How'd he do in a Red Bull?
Qualify around 6th-7th, then make up a few places on the first lap. Settle in and score the odd podium and even winin a Hockenheim kind of situation? Might he be better than Gasly on recent form?
In a Red Bull, would he have lost that lead in Germany? He was not flawless but thoroughly on it.
Driving a Red Bull might get him in the lead more often as the car is simply 1-2 seconds faster every lap.
He's not dog slow also, proven by his Monza F1 quali debut. Oddly capable in the wet/changing conditions.
Maybe like a Hulk, but slower ion one dry lap, as good or better in the race?

 

Stroll is slow and not currently good enough for F1.

F1 fans seem to gravitate towards drivers who suck on Saturday but "make amends" on Sunday. Same thing happened to Hartley last year. These constant mediocre performances are characterised as "gutsy" and all of a sudden a below-par driver is simply "unlucky", "not given enough opportunities", etc...
 

Germany was a total fluke and borne out of desperation because he was already at the back of the field. Most other drivers would've likely won the race in his position, or at least led the race for a significant amount of time before the final SC. Kvyat (who pitted one lap later) gained 14 seconds on Stroll in 5 laps and then immediately overtook him. Fourteen seconds! In 5 laps! Some of it might have been chassis (doubt it) but most of it was Stroll's lack of pace.

Imagine where Stroll would've been if he had Kvyat's pace and was 14 seconds up the road, or better yet imagine where someone like Albon could've been if they utilised the Stroll strategy and switched to dries before SC in... they would've been leading by 10-15 seconds before Bottas crashed. Max would've been nowhere near. Stroll not only threw away a podium, but a victory shot as well. He is not F1 material.
 

Totally OT, sorry.


Edited by TomNokoe, Yesterday, 11:30.


#633 SenorSjon

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Posted Yesterday, 11:28

I'm sorry? I must have watched a different qualifying.


P1 Max Verstappen 1min 14.572sec
P6 Pierre Gasly 1min 15.450sec

That's almost a second. Of the entire grid, only Russel had a bigger gap to his teammate.

 

I think he means Germany where Gasly was on a tenth before the lap got deleted.



#634 A3

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Posted Yesterday, 12:08

I think he means Germany where Gasly was on a tenth before the lap got deleted.


Still, it's a very weird thing to say. One lap speed is definitely a big problem for Pierre compared to Max.

Average teammate gaps (from the qualifying averages thread)

01. Verstappen 0.5s
02. Russell 0.48s
03. Perez 0.31s
04. Ricciardo 0.134s
05. Magnussen 0.127s
06. Raikkonen 0.1s
07. Hamilton 0.08s
08. Sainz 0.07s
09. Kvyat 0.032s
10. Leclerc 0.027s

Edited by A3, Yesterday, 19:08.


#635 Sterzo

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Posted Yesterday, 16:47

The only reason why Marko's thinking might make sense is that in theory it's easier for a driver to learn tyre management - which is the biggest factor in race pace nowadays - than for him to develop sheer speed. However in practice this doesnt appear to be quite the case: the top guys are much more vulnerable over one lap than they are over the race distance...

Marko's comments make sense when you're evaluating up and coming drivers in the lower formulae - which is what he was talking about. If they have raw speed and mental resilience, there's a chance they can learn the rest. If they're slow or lack confidence, there's no hope.

 

While I might not employ Marko as a teacher of charm and poise at a finishing school for young ladies, his driver scheme is pretty effective. Even the brutal "succeed or you're out" is no more than a reflection of racing itself.



#636 Imateria

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Posted Yesterday, 18:30

I think he means Germany where Gasly was on a tenth before the lap got deleted.

I did, screw up on my part as the comment becomes irrelavent.



#637 Imateria

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Posted Yesterday, 18:36

Well, it's a selection process, you can't just gamble on a single driver and expect them to do well in F1 down the line.
However, he boots drivers and hires back a signficant number of them. Boots Albon, re-hires him and them promotes to main team after just 12 races in F1. They didn't see that coming or at best wanted someone else to take the gamble on him to fund F2 and the like. But only bought him out from Nissan when they were stuck without drivers they actually wanted. Kvyat hired back as well. He did great work with Ferrari and thrived there compared to the pressure even at STR. 

It is, but when Marko keeps throwing drivers into the deep end that fold under the pressure it brings up two questions. The first is on Marko's judgement, something that I have long felt is rather flawed and makes a mockery of his proclomation that he doesn't make many mistakes in this regard, the other is whether the the junior programe is offering enough support to help develop the drivers. IMO the Red Bull Junior programe has been rather successful, but could and maybe should have been much more successful than it has been.



#638 HeadFirst

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Posted Yesterday, 18:40

I think he means Germany where Gasly was on a tenth before the lap got deleted.

 

Why was the lap deleted?



#639 f1paul

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Posted Yesterday, 18:56

Why was the lap deleted?

Track limits, went wide at turn one (or it might have been the last corner, one of them).



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#640 Boxerevo

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Posted Today, 03:40

I was looking the hungary race again to see something about Pierre.

 

Pierre has 0% of confidence in the car.

 

Dude is just circling around, he doesn't trust or literally can't do anything that is close to the limiit there. It is ugly to see and i feel sorry for him that there was no solution in time.



#641 Reddington

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Posted Today, 04:30

I was looking the hungary race again to see something about Pierre.

 

Pierre has 0% of confidence in the car.

 

Dude is just circling around, he doesn't trust or literally can't do anything that is close to the limiit there. It is ugly to see and i feel sorry for him that there was no solution in time.

 

Exactly. But the general consensus is that he had ample opportunity to turn things around. That he was allowed to do his own set ups (although apparently they failed miserably), that they gave him set ups Max was using. But nothing worked for him. In the end it is proven the car is more than capable to do a lot more than Gasly showed and he seems to be a guy who has just one default driving style and just isn't able to adjust it to a car well enough.

 

You can see it every race: he keeps braking late, is trying to turn the car too aggressively, without any change from race to race. A good driver will adjust his driving style to suit the car. Alonso did so very well with a poor Mclaren, Dan is showing this year that he is able to adjust to a different style for braking and turning the Renault. 

 

I truly believe he had a fair chance. Talk about engineers changing sides of the garage is not something I am putting too much weight to. Simply because it could well be that it was actually another try to making it work for him. Insiders also claim he is difficult to work with. That he isn't self reflective, is blaming everything but the kitchen sink and actually fell out with his main engineer.

 

There is always a lot of talk about Red Bull not giving their drivers the same treatment. And sure, you'd give Max the main engineer he wants. But I fully believe the cars are identical, that if you perform well you can run your own set ups etc. That Marko prefers some drivers is well known, but he doesn't run the race team. I have never seen any proof of actual sabotaging a driver. Not Webber, not Dan, not Gasly, not Kvyat or anyone else. To me that was mostly fan boys who were searching for excuses. To me it seems that if you show RBR that you are fast, just as fast as your team mate or quicker, you will be carried by the team fully.



#642 RA2

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Posted Today, 07:13

I don't believe there is much difference between two race engineers at the top 3 teams.

Gasly was not working with a race engineer who has just been brought into the team from GP3

#643 ElectricBoogie

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Posted Today, 08:03

Marko said before the season he felt Gasly is strong over one lap and might give Max a run for his money. Then, STR makes nice cars to push hard which may have tripped up his judgment.

When Max got thrown into the car, he was 6 tenths down on RIC in Q3  but great on racce pace.
We should not be surprised when Albon loses 8-9 tenths initially before settling at 2-3 at best. It's a high bar.



#644 shurajan

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Posted Today, 09:47

Marko said before the season he felt Gasly is strong over one lap and might give Max a run for his money. Then, STR makes nice cars to push hard which may have tripped up his judgment.

When Max got thrown into the car, he was 6 tenths down on RIC in Q3 but great on racce pace.
We should not be surprised when Albon loses 8-9 tenths initially before settling at 2-3 at best. It's a high bar.

Kvyat’s quali perfomance was compromised this year:
- operational mistake when the team put old tyres
- George Russle blocking
- and recent when the car had wrong set up in Hungary

I think Albon is good driver but Kvyat does better this year and should have had better statistics this year against Albon.

In my view Albon is more “movable” than Kvyat from RB perspective.

Albon’s promotion is a clear sign that RB negotiates with someone else. Most likely Vettlel to resolve the “key person dependency” issue with Max.

Albon can be demoted to TR with less issues(contract, acceptance from the driver and fans etc) than Kvyat.

Edited by shurajan, Today, 09:48.


#645 Reddington

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Posted Today, 10:46

Or they just want to use the chance to evaluate their third driver, since they know how Kvyat and Gasly do in the RBR. It’s risk free.

Sometimes it can be as simple as that.

#646 ElectricBoogie

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Posted Today, 11:28

I have no reason to disbelieve that Albon is being asked to step up to get more data on the three "pool"  drivers versus each other.
Kvyat may well still be considered for RBR later this year or especially 2020. He's a new man, a good racer and was never slow. In his seasons against Sainz demolished him more than once. When he's good, he's really good.
Nothing againt Albon, he's unproven. Will be given more attention and better drivers to fight with. Max as a yardstick may prove disheartening. Same data access as with Kvyat, but how to actually drive those laps?
I'm a Kvyat fan but can't say I'd disgrant it Albon to remain at RBR and do well. But we need to be realistic in our expectations.
Max started with a high level in his rookie season and somehow showed a lot of progress over the next 3.5 years in F1. We all respect Ricciardo for all he is as a driver but we saw the result of a fair battle. He beat Max mostly when Max was messing up. Max stopped messing up well over a year ago. That's scary.
Hamilton has been sovereign this season it seems, but dropped the balls quite a bit in comparison.

I do hope Albon will prove a Prost to Max's Senna or Schumi. But to be honest I saw Senna mess up more.



#647 shure

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Posted Today, 13:04

Curious as to who he's referring to here. It describes Sainz (who was in the Red Bull program, so obviously Marko is not talking about him), Stroll, and to an extent, Hulkenberg and Magnussen
Wonder who Marko was looking at for the RB young driver program?

could be Sainz, if Marko was maybe referring to bringing him into the Red Bull team, as opposed to the whole junior program.

#648 TomNokoe

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Posted Today, 17:47

Marko again confirming that there really isn't anything else behind the move:

"I think Albon is better. We know how fast Kvyat is, we can say that he has become a more complete driver. However, based on all factors, we chose Alex.”


No grand conspiracy, no back-to-back for 2020, no big shakeups. Albon > Kvyat.