These contradicting comments from Christian Horner on Pierre Gasly make intriguing reading

Gasly was promoted to Red Bull at the end of last season to replace Daniel Ricciardo and he immediately struggled to live up to expectations.

Red Bull have clearly felt it’s time for a change after results did not improve and have announced Gasly has been swapped for Toro Rosso’s Albon.

The switch will take place immediately, with Albon’s first race for Red Bull being at the post-summer break Belgium Grand Prix next month.

However, Horner appears to have gone back on his word about replacing Gasly as Verstappen’s team-mate mid-season.

The Red Bull team principal was asked just two weeks ago for his views on Gasly’s performance, where he categorically denied any possibility of moving on from the Frenchman.

“There are no plans to replace Pierre during the course of this season,” he said ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix.

“He’s got the second half of the year to really get it together because then they’ll be a lot of pressure on what we do for next year.

“But we’re not looking at replacing him or switching drivers around, it’s really in his court no to get it together and build on some of the promise we have seen flashes of.

“He just needs to put it together more consistently.”

Eleventh and eighth-place finishes in Gasly’s first two races with Red Bull were vastly overshadowed as Verstappen battled at the front of the grid.

He was once again outside the top six in both Canada, France and Austria, finishing eighth, 10th and seventh respectively before beating his Red Bull team-mate at Silverstone.

But question marks were swiftly being raised over his future as a driver alongside Verstappen at Red Bull.

He sits just five points ahead of McLaren’s Carlos Sainz Jr in the driver standings and 69 points back from Charles Leclerc of Ferrari.

Gasly will now have to try and resurrect his F1 career at Toro Rosso when the season gets back underway at Spa.

For Albon, he might have been outperformed by Daniil Kvyat in the majority of the races, but the 23-year-old has largely impressed in his debut F1 season.

The London-born Thai driver now has the chance to win a seat at Red Bull for 2020 with some strong performances in the second half of the campaign.

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