Opinion: Red Bull already know Kvyat, so why not give Albon a chance

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Monday brought with it the story that somehow seemed inevitable even if Red Bull had you believe it wasn't, that's right Pierre Gasly has finally been dropped.

After 12 races of mostly mediocrity, the notoriously cut-throat Helmut Marko and Christian Horner have agreed enough is enough and the Frenchman is heading back to Toro Rosso.

It's a call that, as hard as it was to make, had to be made because Gasly simply hasn't risen to the challenge of battling at the front of the Formula 1 grid or even simply backing up Max Verstappen.

Indeed, it was the Frenchman's poor pace in Hungary which allowed Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes the freedom to switch strategy and ultimately steal the victory.

And his inability to match Ferrari has meant the Scuderia remains comfortably second in the Constructors' standings.

In a year where Red Bull has likely exceeded expectations in terms of their performance with Honda, to have a driver holding them back and regularly losing to midfield teams is totally unacceptable.

Just once has Gasly managed to beat Verstappen, and even that was after the Dutchman was punted off by Sebastian Vettel at Silverstone.

And while he has struggled to adapt to the RB15, at the highest level of motorsport, a driver simply must overcome that issue much, much quicker.

It was never expected that Pierre would step up and cause the same stir that Charles Leclerc has at Ferrari for example.

He was called up mostly because Red Bull had little choice after Ricciardo suddenly left and Carlos Sainz focused on a McLaren move.

The team knew Gasly likely wasn't ready for the task of going up against Verstappen and that is how it proved.

What is interesting, however, is their next move. The decision to promote Alex Albon rather than perhaps the more tried and tested Daniil Kvyat.

It's very easy, as even I did initially, to consider the call to be a case of Marko and Horner being unable to swallow their pride and ego and re-promote the first driver they axed back in 2016.

But with a little more time, the reasons become quite clear.

In Kvyat, Red Bull know they have a driver that can get the job done in a pretty decent fashion as he showed in Germany finishing third, but Albon's rookie season has been understatedly good.

He produced a brilliant drive to the points in China having crashed out in final practice, claimed P8 on debut in Monaco and was already running in the podium places at Hockenheim before getting caught out in a melee caused by Lewis Hamilton.

So the Thai does have the potential to develop into a better driver than Kvyat and with not so much to play for in the championships, why not see what he can do alongside Verstappen.

Of course, it is a huge pressure now on the 23-year-old, who is the least experienced Red Bull driver since Vitantonio Liuzzi made his debut with the team in 2005.

But the positive is Albon has two circuits he knows well coming at Spa and Monza and with expectations likely to be low, it is certainly his chance to make a pitch for a full-time seat in 2020.

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