Pierre Gasly said at the start of the season that a return to the ranks of the Red Bull team, from which he was expelled in 2019, is “the first option today” for his future in motorsport’s most important category. Under a Red Bull contract until 2023 but engaged to his “little sister” team AlphaTauri, the 26-year-old driver admits that “everything remains open” for the future: “Today I don’t know what they plan to do with me, next year is our last year together, to possibly go to Red Bull, but these are things that are up for discussion.”
Promoted from Toro Rosso to Red Bull in 2019, his results have been below those of his teammate Max Verstappen. Red Bull, however, has no patience. After just twelve Grands Prix, the Norman had been asked to return to his classes with Toro Rosso (AlphaTauri’s former identity). Brutal return for Gasly, in the stable where he started (2017-2018). “Of course, what I’ve had to live with for six months are things you don’t forget. The things I saw, the things I heard, those are things that I don’t like’, he recalls.
“Luckily I have a good team”
But “it will be three years now, the page has already turned well,” he swipes. “The goals are the same every year: to perform as well as possible with the car I have. †
Pierre Gasly continues: “I’m very lucky to have a good team around me today, who gives me the tools to perform and that’s all I ask for, I just want to have the tools at hand to do what I can do and get the best possible results It’s an environment where you always have to prove and (…) it was important to do that: the podium in Sao Paulo in 2019, victory in 2020 (in Italy) or the podium last year (3rd in Azerbaijan)”, all with a single seater intended for the center of the table.
Have these last two seasons reassured him about his potential? “I’ve never really worried,” he says. “This is my ninth season at Red Bull (counting the years before F1, including his 2016 GP2 title, the elite front room, editor’s note). There have been eight and a half years of victories, pole positions, titles and only six terrible months.”
A problem remains when he returns to Red Bull: how does he plan to (re)find a place in the team next to the Dutchman, a pure Red Bull product that has now become world champion, who has just extended until 2028? “It’s one of the things we’ll have to discuss, depending on the situation on their side and their wishes. Of course when I go there it’s to win races, I want to win, I want to fight at the front, so yeah that’s going to be one of the things that needs to be discussed,” he said. “With the season I drove last year, they are sure they would like me to lead AlphaTauri,” told his Japanese team-mate Yuki Tsunoda, 21, who is entering his 2nd year in F1.
On the Red Bull side, he also acknowledges: “they are happy with the way things are going with Sergio (Perez, teammate of Verstappen) doing the ‘taf’ for Max, so I respect that”. With Red Bull or elsewhere, Gasly hopes to have time for his ambitions: “The goal is to stay in F1 for at least the next ten years and in a car with which I can compete for world championship titles.”
“It’s an exciting time in my career, I just turned 26, it’s going to be my peak years and I think it’s a sport where you always get better. . We still see Lewis (Hamilton) at 37 years old fighting for the title.