Horner: Hats off to Gasly for 'embracing' Toro Rosso demotion


Red Bull Racing team boss Christian Horner praised Pierre Gasly's for embracing rather than rejecting his demotion from the senior bull squad to Toro Rosso.

A troubled first half of the season, during which Gasly struggled to get anywhere near the performance level of his teammate Max Verstappen, compelled Red Bull after F1's summer break to swap the Frenchman with up and coming rookie Alex Albon.

The rotation has worked well for both drivers, with Albon affirming his undeniable talent alongside Verstappen and Gasly enjoying a beneficial reset with Toro Rosso that yielded a fantastic second-place finish in Brazil.

Horner believes the less pressured environment at Faenza was just what Gasly needed to put himself back in the saddle, the RBR boss left impressed with how the 23-year-old dealt with his downgrade.

"He had two choices: he could either get depressed about it or be grateful for the fact he was still involved in F1 and Red Bull still believed in him," Horner said.

"I think he embraced it rather than got dejected by it. I think there was almost a slight relief as well, because the pressure only mounts.

"He came into the season after two crashes and there were some really tough races for him. I think it was the right thing to remove him from that pressure.

"It’s been good to see him really find his confidence at Toro Rosso."

Red Bull motorsport boss Helmut Marko went a step further than Horner, the Austrian claiming that Gasly would have perhaps never recovered from his performance slump had he remained with the Milton Keynes-based outfit.


"He’s recovered, and now we see the real Pierre," Marko told Motorsport.com.

"We always believed in him. It was positive for him, otherwise at Red Bull Racing I think he never would have recovered."

Toro Rosso team boss Franz Tost said that Faenza's familiar environment only helped Gasly's reconstruction.

"It was not so easy for him this season, but he came back,”"said Tost. "I think Pierre from the very beginning onwards felt quite well in the car, and in the team of course.

"I remember he came back he came to my office and said, ‘It looked like you were here yesterday.’

"We knew each other, the engineers knew him, and this helped. And our car at this point was easy to drive."

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