Many assets, only one reservation: McLaren, Pierre Gasly’s obvious choice for 2023

Pierre Gasly will not get another chance at Red Bull. We would like to make a reservation, use the conditional on this subject, but by winning the Monaco Grand Prix, Sergio Pérez locked him up for good at AlphaTauri next year. Unless he goes somewhere else.

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The Frenchman hoped to build on the momentum of his 2020 and 2021 seasons with Faenza to return to Milton Keynes, a team he raced with just 12 times in 2019 before being demoted to Toro Rosso. He hoped to put “Checo” Perez on waivers this year, but the Mexican lieutenant is more than ever the man for the job at Red Bull. In fact, it was unimaginable to see him in third place in the world championship after seven races, just 15 lengths behind the leader, his teammate Max Verstappen.

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In the euphoria of his princely triumph, he surrendered to a confidence: “I resigned too early”he said, to Christian Horner He thought his statement would only be heard by his boss, and he saw no need to deny it other than in the form of a pirouette for the journalists.

Ricciardo’s fate this summer

In short, Sergio Pérez will be in the RB19 next year, Pierre Gasly will find his satisfaction elsewhere and this is the least kept secret in the paddock. But the Norman may not be with AlphaTauri, where he still has a one-year contract, but McLaren. Indeed, Woking team director Zak Brown gave a layer on Sunday about the possible departure of his driver Daniel Ricciardo. “I don’t want to go into the details of the contract, but there are mechanisms where we are mutually engaged and mechanisms where we are not,” explained the American boss, quoted by the site The Race. In these “mechanisms” we include result clauses.

“I’ve talked to Daniel about it.he added. We don’t have the expected results, but we keep pushing. He showed at Monza (in 2021) that he can win races. We have to keep developing our car, which is not capable of winning races, but we would like to see it higher on the grid.” “Higher” means closer to Lando Norris, who beat him six times in the seven qualifiers and still rolled in Sunday’s race. “I don’t want to say ‘one race at a time’ because we don’t, but we’ll see how things develop, what he wants.”he specified.

The Australian, thirteenth in Monaco, slipped this weekend when he spoke of a negotiation with McLaren “this summer”. Before he corrected himself by explaining what he was talking about… “summer 2023”. The reality as described by Zak Brown is that he is out of contract and 2023 is just a guess. And that everything remains possible: even if “Dan The Man” would meet the conditions of his contract, Zak Brown was allowed to thank him, for a fee. To clear the way, you leave with a newcomer.

Easy living with Norris

Pierre Gasly? This is the name that comes up most often in the paddock since the American boss’s warnings. The Frenchman, the most attractive drivers, tops the list. And even the only one. Oscar Piastri? The Alpine Hopeful is officially a reserve for McLaren this year, but what’s the point for Zak Brown to only have it for a year? Nothing has been done but Alpine could establish its Australian prodigy in the event of the retirement of Sebastian Vettel, who would vacate his Aston Martin seat to Fernando Alonso. Pato O’Ward? He re-signed in Indycar until 2025 with… McLaren. Colton Herta? McLaren will run the Indycar driver this year at the request of Andretti Autosport, with a view to his entry into Formula 1 in 2024.

With McLaren, Pierre Gasly could finally get his career off the ground. But in which environment, and with which package, that is the question. First of all, he would be associated with Lando Norris, trained, pampered and stepped down by McLaren until 2025. A big challenge in itself, but competition from the young Englishman would give him more. Ignored by the pro-Max Verstappen staff in 2019, the winner of the 2020 Italian Grand Prix would have nothing to fear from a lad who lived flawlessly with Carlos Sainz – they even spoke of bromance – and Daniel Ricciardo to the.

Technically, Pierre Gasly would also find people at McLaren who he has worked with in the past, starting with James Key, his director at Toro Rosso in 2018 and 2019, for the Brit’s promotion to Woking. On the other hand, the package might not be today’s. McLaren drives Mercedes and that could change. Not at the initiative of Andreas Seidl, who chose to replace the Renault V6 with the German V6 in 2021, but of Toto Wolff. In an interview with the Financial Times on Monday, the Mercedes Motorsport director and F1 team shareholder said he had decided to separate from one of his three client teams.

A McLaren Mercedes? Unsure

“Unfortunately, the motorbike rental sector is not attractive or interesting as the FIA ​​has put a certain limit on the amount to be charged to customers to protect small teams.reveals the Austrian manager. I’d rather have six cars (four customers plus the two official ones), push development to its limits and make two less engines.”

Who would be left out, and when? We can immediately exclude Aston Martin, whose car business is 20% owned by Daimler, parent company of Mercedes-Benz. That leaves Williams, who has a contract until the end of 2025, and McLaren, attached to the firm of Etoile until 2024. Of these two, Williams is certainly the most exposed to a breakup, Toto Wolff never understood that the Grove team is contracting Alexander Albon , the protégé of Red Bull, instead of Nyck de Vries, Mercedes driver. But one thing is certain, the team let down by Mercedes will have to turn to Renault, the engine manufacturer supplying the fewest teams (actually itself) as required by the regulations.

Whatever happens, Mercedes’ decision to “cut” one of its customer teams will not take effect before 2024 and this parameter will not be part of the equation in the event of negotiations between McLaren and Pierre Gasly.

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