Red Bull asked Alonso to replace Gasly before choosing Albon - report

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Red Bull asked Fernando Alonso to replace Pierre Gasly before electing Alex Albon, Spanish media claim.

On Monday, the Milton Keynes-based outfit made the decision most were expecting despite constant denials by dropping the Frenchman, who has struggled to get on the pace in 2019.

The decision to choose Albon, however, was a bit of a surprise and according to Mundo Deportivo, the Thai wasn't their first choice.

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Instead, when Helmut Marko claimed recently that Alonso had contacted Red Bull about his availability for 2020, it is reported that actually, it was the team who made the first call after the Austrian GP when Gasly had finished a lap behind Max Verstappen.

The double world champion declined the offer, claiming he wasn't interested in returning to F1 and that then led to the company having to promote from within.

According to the Barcelona-based outlet, this was an example of Red Bull "in distress" as they struggle to find a suitable driver to race next to Verstappen while a number of their ex-stable members achieve success elsewhere.

They also note that it is the latest in what is reportedly a number of offers made to Alonso during his career, with this latest attempt, if true, making it as many as five approaches over the past 12 years.