The Belgian Grand Prix was the one-year anniversary of Alex Albon’s promotion to the senior Red Bull team, and the concurrent demotion of Pierre Gasly back to the junior team. As they prepared for the triple header of Spa, Monza and Mugello in their respective empowered and reduced competitive circumstances, their stocks were quite different to how it might have been imagined when that swop was made. Albon was struggling being measured against Max Verstappen and had yet to score a podium. Gasly was reinvigorated at the junior team AlphaTauri, to such an extent that questions were asked if there might be another swop in the opposite direction for next year.
Christian Horner was batting away the idea, although he was duty-bound to. But there’s obvious truth in what he says about the task of being Verstappen’s team-mate.“Everybody’s obviously got an opinion on this topic, but they don’t have the facts,” he said. “Alex is doing a good job in what’s been a difficult car this year. I’d say the car’s harder to drive than 12 months ago.
“When he got in the car 12 months ago, he did a much stronger job than Pierre had done up to that point in the year. I think Alex has got a lot of talent that obviously we haven’t seen come to the surface yet. His racing has been very strong on a Sunday but he’s struggled with the car over a single lap. And, of course, Max has been so strong at getting the most out of the car.