During the pre-race press conference, journalists had plenty of subject matter to cover. First on the agenda was the sensational swap between Pierre Gasly and Alex Albon. In light of this, Max Verstappen was asked about his reaction to the news of Albon becoming his new team mate.
Verstappen revealed, “Well I knew before. They told me when I was on the simulator before holidays so for me it was not a surprise. I mean, yeah, I’ve been there before myself.”
Meanwhile, poor old Pierre Gasly was only informed a few hours before the announcement. It was also worth noting that immediately after the Hungarian Grand Prix, Gasly was assured that he would remain at Red Bull until the end of the season. However, everyone knows, what happened a week later
He said that he found out at 8:42AM on the day of the announcement. The French driver confessed that it came as a quite a shock and he was disappointed. He revealed that it was not what he had been promised before and after Budapest that his seat was safe until the end of the season.
Meanwhile, Alex Albon recounted his version of the events. He said, “So, it was just a normal thing, a daily catch-up with Dr Marko in his office in Austria. Pretty much that’s how the conversation went. I think it was the Monday at the beginning of the summer break. That conversation went through and it was one of those things: “oh, by the way, this is what’s going on.” And that was pretty much it. I think you guys knew only an hour after I did, so it was quite close, in that sense.”