This might be shocking if I hadn’t already said this on Monday’s race review podcast…in fact, I’ve been saying it for some time now to the point that you are probably tired of hearing me say it. Pierre Gasly’s lack of finding harmony with his car and performing well is hurting Red Bull Racing. Well, Monday I was a bit harsher in saying that this is a wasted seat at this point for Red Bull Racing.
That’s a terse statement considering Pierre would mop the floor with me if we were to drive against each other but then I’m not a Formula 1 driver and he is. I’m not being paid by Red Bull, he is.
On one hand, Dr. Helmut Marko and team boss Christian Horner are not suggesting that there could be any sort of mid-season change although the team have been known to do that in the past—think Daniil Kvyat. Up until now, they’ve been relatively patient and supportive in their comments regarding Pierre’s performance and difficulty of getting on top of the car’s behavior and nuance.
That is changing of late and on the heels of the Hungarian Grand Prix, Horner has been as candid as I’ve seen him regarding Pierre’s current performance gap to Max Verstappen and the other top teams:
“Not having two cars running at the front does hurt us, particularly in the constructors’ championship.
“We have scored the same amount of points as Ferrari on a track where we should have taken more out of them.”
As we mentioned on this week’s podcast, he has to be running on the tail of Max for thereabouts so he can either be a tail gunner for his Dutch teammate or, in the event that Max have issues, take the baton and march forward denying their rivals points in the Constructor’s Championship. That hasn’t been happening and to be blunt, Pierre hasn’t been in the mix at all according to Horner:
“The problem is he is not in the mix at all,” said Horner. “We need him to be racing Ferraris and Mercedes, and everything we can do to try to help him do that, we will do.”
The comment about helping him is positive and doesn’t suggest they will simply find someone who can deliver but I think we’ve seen Red Bull Racing’s actions in the past and they eventually run out of time and patience. I’ve argued throwing Kvyat or Albon in for a weekend or two just to see if that works but that’s easier said than done.
Would you replace Pierre mid-season? Do you have more patience than others and would you see the rest of the season out before making any changes? the problem is that his performance could be costing the team millions in Constructor Championship money and eventually a team has to consider that.
There’s more commentary from Christian at the link below at Autosport.
Hat Tip: Autosport