Max Verstappen says Alexander Albon the 'smartest choice' for Red Bull

Alexander Albon and Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen says Red Bull Racing made the “smartest” choice in retaining Alexander Albon for the 2020 Formula 1 season.

Red Bull fielded Pierre Gasly for the first half of the season but promoted Albon during the summer break, allowing it to assess its best option for next year.

Last week the operation confirmed that Albon will remain at Red Bull into 2020, with Gasly staying at Toro Rosso alongside Daniil Kvyat.

“He’s a nice guy and for him I think the last 12 months have been a bit of a rollercoaster,” said Verstappen of Albon, prior to last weekend's Brazilian Grand Prix.

“Of course he’s very laid back, very relaxed, people like him in the team, he’s easy going, which I think helps.

“He’s quick, he’s doing his job, getting the points, I think it was the let’s say smartest way of continuing.”

Verstappen also expects Albon to emerge as a more regular threat, citing his own experience at stepping into Red Bull during the course of a season.

“I think lap time is there straight away,” said Verstappen of a mid-season switch.

“I think you will get there through a weekend, in qualifying you’re always on the limit and I would say from my first race to now I think it’s more [that] you’re in a much more comfortable situation, you know the car more or less, you’ve worked with the same people, you know easier which way you can go with the set-ups and stuff.

“When I just joined in Red Bull I was first of all listening and following Daniel [Ricciardo]’s direction a bit more.

“Of course you have your own driving style, so you’re anyway always different, but I didn’t know what certain things on the car could do because it’s different to a Toro Rosso.

“I think over the years I know what I want on the car, what we are going to change, only on that side it makes your weekend a bit easier to work with, but in terms of pace I think it was there from the first weekend.”