During the Belgian Grand Prix 2019, Max Verstappen was taken out of commission early on. So, the onus was on the other Red Bull of Alex Albon to pick up the slack and score some good points.
To their delight, the Thai driver managed to sneak into 6th place, which later became 5th after Lando Norris‘ car went kaput. However, his former teammate, Toro Rosso Driver Daniil Kvyat was not particularly convinced.
The Russian driver cheekily said, “I don’t know why you’d call it such a good start, he was stuck for 36 laps behind me in a Red Bull. And he started in front of me as well, so I don’t know. Maybe in the future he will do better. If he stayed at Toro Rosso it would have been an amazing race for him, but he was at Red Bull,”
In a way, Kvyat did have a point as it was only Red Bull’s superior strategy that helped Albon. It was also worth noting that at one point in the race, one of the biggest ironies was happening. Pierre Gasly in the Toro Rosso was the leading Red Bull car, ahead of Kvyat and Alex Albon. The Frenchman found some tremendous form, in his first race back for Toro Rosso, after being let go by Red Bull.
Albon’s appointment to Red Bull is not set in stone, but the Austrian team is using these nine races as an assessment. Then, in 2020, they will finally take a call on who will partner Max Verstappen.
Both Albon and Kvyat had grid penalties in Belgium due to Honda introducing a ‘Spec 4’ upgrade but the Thai reverted to an older engine for the Sunday. That was what made Albon’s achievement in his maiden race with Red Bull even more incredible.