Pierre Gasly and Alex Albon Gang Up Against Christian Horner & Co.: “They Got No Mercy”

Published 02/23/2024, 2:39 PM EST

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Red Bull, and especially Helmut Marko and Christian Horner, are known quite well for swapping and shifting their drivers at will. You don’t really need to go too far back to find proof either. It only took Red Bull 11 races to decide that rookie Nyck de Vries was not good enough. So they swapped him mid-season with Daniel Ricciardo. In the freshly released Season 6 of ‘Drive To Survive’, Pierre Gasly and Alex Albon, both victims of Red Bull’s swapping frenzy, have opened up about the culture at Red Bull Racing.

After Daniel Ricciardo decided to step away from Red Bull in 2018, the Milton Keynes squad chose Pierre Gasly as the new teammate for Max Verstappen in 2019. However, he struggled to keep up the pace with the Dutchman and the pressure from within the Red Bull camp didn’t help him either. And so, with just 12 races into the season, they sent Pierre Gasly back to Toro Rosso and swapped him with the rookie Alex Albon. Somehow, Sergio Perez has managed to keep his job at Red Bull for 3 consecutive seasons, but 2024 could be his final season with the team.

Pierre Gasly and Alex Albon say seat is never safe at Redbull


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The much-awaited 6th season of Drive To Survive dropped on Netflix today and in episode 2, Gasly and Albon spoke about the harsh reality at Red Bull. The series portrayed what happened with de Vries, to which Gasly revealed, “Red Bull doesn’t have time. They got no patience, they got no mercy. And good or bad, that’s just the way it works there.”Alex Albon added,“At Red Bull, your seat is never safe. There are so many drivers in that program. So as soon as you don’t perform, there’s a replacement for you. And that’s where the pressure comes from.”

Nyck de Vries finally got his break in F1 with AlphaTauri in 2023 after a stellar substitute performance in Monza, 2022 for Alex Albon at Williams. However, the AT04 was probably the slowest or the second-slowest car on the grid at the start of the 2023 season. So naturally, the rookie struggled to kickstart his season and failed to score points. However, just 11 races into the season, Red Bull dropped him. It would have been soul and confidence-crushing for the 29-year-old driver, a feeling both Albon and Gasly are quite familiar with.


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In another interview on High Performance Podcast, Alex Albon talked about how he felt about Redbull’s move. He said, “Truthfully, for me especially, the biggest thing to get used to was everything around it… I struggled with the media attention to begin with. I also didn’t have a manager, I didn’t have anyone around me. So in terms of my personal support, I had my family but I was just going about it alone. I’d go to the racetrack by myself…”

With just half a season under his belt in 2019, Albon was excited to take on Max Verstappen in 2020. Although he fared a bit better than Gasly with a little more experience in the team, he was no match for the Dutchman and he had to pay for that with his seat for 2021. Red Bull replaced Albon with Sergio Perez for the following season and Alex had to sit on the sidelines without a drive.

With the return of Daniel Ricciardo in the Red Bull stable, there has been a lot of speculation that the Aussie will replace Checo either in the middle of the 2024 season or after it.

Sergio Perez is under pressure to save his seat for 2025

The Mexican driver came under pressure in the second half of 2023 as he struggled to match the lofty heights of Max Verstappen, while his Red Bull team-mate cantered to World Championship glory. It will depend on whether Ricciardo is back to his prime as he was when he left Red Bull in 2018.

While Horner has been vocal in his backing of Perez throughout the season, even through the struggles that saw him fall away from Verstappen in the Drivers’ standings, he made it clear that he expects Perez to take race victories in 2024 where possible. Horner said, “… Checo works best when he’s under pressure, that’s what I’ve seen with him in his time with us…You know, he’s in the seat, it’s his seat to lose and I think there’s nothing preset for 2025… He’s aware of that, he knows he needs to deliver.”


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If the Honey Badger is beaten by Yuki Tsunoda in 2024, Red Bull might not want to put him beside Verstappen. However, they also have a promising young New Zealander, Liam Lawson waiting to burst out on the F1 scene in either of the Red Bull teams.


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The 2024 silly season sure promises to be an exciting one. What are you most looking forward to when the lights go out for the first time in Bahrain?

“That Garage Is Wild”: Pierre Gasly Goes Viral for Cardboard Cutouts of Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen & More in His House


Written by:

Veerendra Vikram Singh


One take at a time

Veerendra Singh is a Motorsport writer at EssentiallySports who specializes in F1 coverage. Having followed the sport for more than 12 years, Veerendra excels in covering trend-setting articles and has covered Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton, Toto Wolff, and Charles Leclerc extensively during the 2023 F1 season. His Dale Earnhardt Jr post regarding the North Wilkesboro Speedway was shared by Save The Speedway Twitter account.
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Edited by:

Bilal Handoo