Red Bull confirm Gasly as Verstappen’s 2019 team mate

2019 F1 season

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Pierre Gasly will join Red Bull as Max Verstappen’s team mate for the 2019 F1 season, the team has announced.

The 22-year-old has been part of Red Bull’s Junior Team since 2013. He made his Formula 1 debut last year for Toro Rosso.

He described his promotion to Red Bull as a “dream come true”.

“Red Bull has always looked to fight for championships or victories and that’s what I want. I’m a really competitive guy and when I do something it’s always to fight for the best and top positions.”

Promoting Gasly will mean at least one of Red Bull’s drivers already has experience of the Honda power units they will switch to for 2019. Toro Rosso began using Honda engines this year.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner described how Gasly had impressed the team.

“Since Pierre first stepped into a Formula One seat with Scuderia Toro Rosso less than a year ago he has proved the undoubted talent that Red Bull has nurtured since his early career.

“His stellar performances this year at the Honda-powered team, in only his first full season in Formula One, have only enhanced his reputation as one of the most exciting young drivers in motorsport and we look forward to Pierre bringing his speed, skill and attitude to the team in 2019.”

Gasly will take the seat which was vacated by Daniel Ricciardo, who is leaving the team to move to Renault. Toro Rosso therefore has at least one empty seat for next year alongside current driver Brendon Hartley.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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66 comments on “Red Bull confirm Gasly as Verstappen’s 2019 team mate”

  1. Congratulations to him; waiting to see what he can do in that Red Bull next year :)

    1. I think Verstappen wil thrash him, but we will see.

      1. I agree with @dennis65 I can’t see any other outcome. i’ve been pretty underwhelmed by Gasly apart from a few decent showings. I have a sneaking suspicion that car could be a lot higher up the grid. Hartley is not a good barometer (they should have kept kvyat). but I guess time will tell.

        It’s interesting how the red bull programme has burned through drivers in such a way that they are incapable of getting the decent ones back (who they discarded), such as vergne, buemi, algesuari etc. Verstappen and vergne would be a great lineup right now, but it seems their hubris/pride prevents them from going back on past decisions.

      2. It will be interesting how they get on together if Gas is near Max’s pace..Gas sounds very excitable on the radio when he is unhappy with someone..l see fireworks

    2. @pratyushp276

      I want to see how this plays out. There is no clear indication that Pierre will be the no.2 in the team. But it is not wrong to assume that he will be atleast in his first year.
      Nevertheless, having watched him this season so far, he didn’t really come across as a character who would budge so easily. His rant in Baku said it all.
      It feels as if, Daniel “handled(/tolerated ?)” Max very well. We can attribute down to their maturity levels (& age).–not gonna happen with Pierre. He will have listening to the team but only two outcomes exist:
      1. Max will appear to (most likely will) be faster than Pierre all the time
      2. Pierre can show us that he is capable of challenging Max consistently and thereby throw a spanner into the ‘arrangement’.

  2. Rashmil Rajagopalan
    20th August 2018, 20:20

    Pierre’s a solid choice. Plus, he has the experience of driving a Honda unit. If he’ll be as fast as Max, only time will tell.

  3. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    20th August 2018, 20:22

    Somewhat predictable but still interesting in regards to what happens at Toro Rosso? Does this mean Hartley’s safe or will it be all change there? If so, who? I mean even if they keep Hartley who gets the other seat?

    1. @rocketpanda

      Hard to predict but Lando is being given a FP1 drive this weekend. Perhaps McLaren might loan him out for a year tops. I dont see any negatives here…

  4. Two (furious) teenagers in one team. What is inside Horners head???

    1. He’s probably mulling how weird it is that both his ‘teenage’ drivers are in their twenties.

      1. Hahahahah

    2. What’s Dieter thinking is the real question? Red Bull is promoting the product that pays the bills, and the market with growth potential is the youth market. 2 drivers that teens can empathise with is the dream-team for RBR, at least until they have a car/PU capable of winning championships, this team may be able to do both if they get the car/PU.

    3. There’s no minimum age limit for buying a can of Red Bull though, is there? I see this as a great way of being able to appeal to their target market, quite the opposite from the challenge Martini faced with Williams’ drivers. The fact that Max/Gasly are also good drivers (Gasly seems good in TR) also made the decision an easy one.

      1. there is some countries, sweden for example. You have to be over 16 to buy a red bull. They are talking about a similar age restriction in the Netherlands. Having seen first hand, groups of kids buying cheap red bull clone drinks and downing them for the buzz, i support an age restriction, that stuff is nasty and there is no reason why kids should be drinking it.

        1. All kid marketing is nasty. Its nothing but “cool” addictive stuff.

  5. So they thought he is better than Alonso or Sainz?

    No, more likely he is a better no. 2 to Verstappen.

    Nothing wrong with that per se as that’s obviously what Ferrari and Mercedes are doing, but not something I’d expect from ‘free spirited’ Red Bull.

    1. Verstappen, ricciardo, kvyat, vettel…red bull pick the best they have from toro rosso, and toro rosso take on the best red bull juniors from junior categories, this is what they do, and letting sainz go to renault was a clear sign they were not keen on keeping him in the family.

      1. Letting him go to Renault on a loan was a sign that they DID want to keep him.
        He didn’t want to stay with STR for another year and the two seats on the main team were occupied.
        If they didn’t want him anymore they could cut all ties with him last year, not now.

        1. Funny thing, if they had released Sainz last year, Renault probably would have picked him up for more than a year, so in turn Red Bull would probably still have Ricciardo.

          1. Great thinking @afonic.

        2. Sainz was always nothing more then a backup plan for RBR. Almost a year of racing against Hulkenberg, Sainz doesn’t really stand out. This makes him a solid F1 driver, but not in the top category (for now). Throw in the not so great relationship with Verstappen and it’s a pretty easy outcome to let him go. I think Red Bull though: got enough for TR not good enough for RBR.

          Gasly showed some nice things this year and the relation with MV can only be better, so it’s an easy choice to pick him over Sainz in my opinion.

    2. They probably do think he’s better, or as good, than Sainz. Alonso was never an option.

  6. Consider that firstly Christian Horner already stated that there is no place for Alonso with his reputation for causing chaos in teams (beyond the grid podcast – prior to Alonso announcing his retirement), and secondly that it is well known there is no love lost between the Verstappen and Sainz camps following their time together at Toro Rosso with Helmut Marko vetoing a reunion at Red Bull. This news should come as no surprise!

    1. @balue Sorry! Didn’t reply directly.

  7. only in looking back, does life’s (Red bulls) decisions become clear.

  8. No surprise. But a waaaay too young pairing.

    1. @edmarques – good point, it makes me wonder whether the difference between the combined ages of the RBR drivers and TR drivers might actually swing the other way now.

      1. Ha! Older junior team!

  9. Gasly proved to be reliable enough for a seat. He will be no Kvyat. That’s for sure.
    It’s a shame that all top teams already have a driver to be their number one.
    This is what caused Alonso to leave, not the teams “closing the doors for him”.

    Mclaren-Honda was supposed to be his top team on the hybrid era, with a budget on the same league as the tops. But they dropped the ball massively and there was no other top team needing a top driver.

    1. True that, I’d have liked to see if ferrari or mercedes would’ve refused alonso had hamilton or vettel decided to leave f1.

  10. Neil (@neilosjames)
    20th August 2018, 21:06

    Nice to see he’s getting the opportunity, but I think it’s too early for him. From what I’ve seen he’s very confident and sure of his own ability… and not someone who’d be all too happy about taking a beating from his team-mate. Which, unless I’m hugely mistaken, is what he’s going to receive in 2019.

    He doesn’t appear to have Verstappen’s talent, and he lacks the experience that might have gone some way to making up for that. He might do OK, but for me there’s too much chance of another Kvyat… a kid ruined before he ever really got going.

    1. You might be right, but then again maybe not.

    2. Icon was not as fast but still put a number of spanners in Max’s wheels en route to his title. Gasly as a slim chance

  11. YellowSubmarine
    20th August 2018, 21:28

    Brendon Hartley gets one more season, then? Possibly his last, if he doesn’t show some serious performance in that car!

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      21st August 2018, 3:56

      Very unfortunate turn of events for Brendon. If he had shown pace in a few more races and beaten Pierre, it would have been him taking Ricciardo’s place.

      1. Yeh its a shame he isnt fast

  12. Very good decision of Red Bull. Gasly has proved to be a very good driver and will surely have a successful future. Of course, we must bear in mind that he is a rookie and as they say, always the second year is harder than the fist, so we have to be patient and wait until 2020 to start demanding results.

    1. Gasly is unproven although he did have a couple of impressive races.
      His biggest challenge will be to keep a level head as Red Bull already made it clear the team is built around Max. Gasly won’t get equal treatment which isn’t easy to accept when you are young and want to prove yourself.
      Unless he is faster than VER out of the box, he will quickly be following team orders.
      A lot of pressure to be under – he will either sink or swim.

      1. @Chad I don’t agree. Show me where RBR has already made it clear the team is built around Max. Gasly will unquestionably have equal treatment. This is a team that is trying to break out of third in the WCC. There is little time for deciding ones and twos on the team. They will both be working toward advancing the car.

    2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      21st August 2018, 4:07

      This just doesn’t feel like the right line up for a team like Red Bull.

      From an excitement standpoint, I guess it’s great. There’s bound to be fireworks there between those two. After seeing what happened to Kvyat and Daniel, Pierre’s gotta know that he is going to have to beat Max. If they are close in pace and start close to each other on the grid, there’s going to be a tremendous battle between these two next year.

      Gasly cannot survive in F1 while Verstappen is thriving. The chessboard is very much stacked in Max’s favor with Marko posing as a rook on one side and Jos on the other.

      1. @freelittlebirds Will they continue to do everything they can to help Max? Of course. Who wouldn’t? But I don’t see why that has to mean Gasly is mere fodder on the team, like some seem to be suggesting. I think they’Lil do everything they can for Pierre as well. Why wouldn’t they?

        1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          21st August 2018, 13:54

          @Robbie if only life were that simple:-) We’ve all seen people who were favored in school, sports teams, or work. Many times the favoritism was deserved and you can say that’s the case in F1 as well.

          The case where 2 drivers are treated equally is really not likely in F1 and really hard to achieve in any work environment. I suppose you could categorize the treatment from the team into “hard” stuff like equipment, upgrades, car design, salaries etc and into “soft” stuff such as the relationships with the principals, staff etc.

          The soft stuff is as important and sometimes more important than the hard stuff. In the end, all it comes down to is a statement like “xxx driver is faster than you’ or the “team is fully behind driver xxx”. Once a driver feels that they are the #2 driver, it’s very hard to make it out of that. I’m not sure I’ve seen a situation where a #2 driver has successfully managed to turn the tables around. I suspect the handicap is as much psychological as it is mechanical.

          Perhaps the greatest recovery I’ve seen in F1 recently is Hulkenberg’s recovery from the switch from the VJM08 to the VJM08b where overnight, Perez gained a qualifying advantage over Hulkenberg and Hulkenberg had to work hard to beat his teammate in qualifying. I’m not sure I’ll see another situation like that.

          1. @freelittlebirds I see no evidence nor reason to be suspicious that Gasly won’t have every bit the car and the opportunity that Max has to show us everything he’s got. Of course Max has the upper hand in competing in F1 at RBR, and with the big boys, and with 4 wins. That’s just naturally going to give him a head start on the team. Gasly isn’t going to be demoralized. He has witnessed what Max has done so far, like us all. Gasly will overwhelmingly be pumped and grateful for the opportunity. If he’s a quality person and driver he will remain humble and just work hard and likely have plans in his mind for winning WDCs by beating all the drivers, not just Max. I see no need for you to talk of being in some hole and not getting out of it, at this stage. Unless you already think he’ll never beat Max and that will destroy him, or his career. But that would be up to PG. He’s either got it (enough to stay in the picture) or he doesn’t. We’ll get to see that transpire, but it won’t be RBR or Max that stand in his way of giving it his best. They insist on it. They’ll give him the means.

          2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            21st August 2018, 17:45

            @Robbie I agree that PG has to be make sure he delivers – if he fails he’ll have no one to blame but himself.

            This is a tremendous opportunity for him but he’s got go in and make sure he hits the ground running.

          3. @freelittlebirds Agreed and I’m sure he will. He’s already been paid a huge compliment and given a huge shot to the confidence just by getting the promotion. And even if Honda is still lagging, he’ll be in the best car he’ll have ever been in, and his task will be to learn. And grow. It’s going to be a blast to watch.

  13. Good good. Shows that putting the effort in can get you a top seat. I had a sneaky feeling Kimi would be a surprise bet, but seems like Leclerc will have another year at Sauber then.

  14. Excellent choice. As a fan of team harmony, I expect Gasly to be quick enough to accumulate healthy points for the team, but never enough to realistically challenge Verstappen. I of course wait to be proven wrong.

  15. Pretty standard RBR decision that is in line with their philosophy of promoting from within.

    Once Sainz had decided he wanted to go elsewhere, it was pretty much a no brainer. Timing is good too. 2019 may be a year of “rebuilding” to a degree while RBR develop their relationship with Honda, so Gasly should have next season to settle in.

    1. Once Dr Marko decided Sainz was not wanted, it was pretty much a no-brainer.
      FTFY @dbradock

  16. This should take him to the level he needs to be to become Pierre Haunter – though I suppose with Red Bull trading him, that’ll make him Pierre Gengar.

    On a serious note, it’s going to be intriguing to see what lineup Toro Rosso go with. No juniors look in a position to make it to F1, so it’s going to be something pretty left field. Bring back another former junior team member like Vergne or Buemi like they did with Hartley? Borrow another team’s junior like Norris? Select an unaffiliated rookie that actually does have the superlicense points? I’m looking forward to seeing what they come up with.

    1. I’ve come up with a list of possibilities:
      1 Lando Norris- on loan.
      2 Jean-Eric Vergne/Sébastien Buemi- returning.
      3 Alexander Albon(as he will probably have enough superlicense points)
      4 Nobuharu Matsushita(as a Honda junior)

      However, I would never have predicted that Brendon Hartley would have been signed last year so it will probably be someone who isn’t even on this list.

  17. Bring back another former junior team member like Vergne or Buemi

    Doubt that. Either of those drivers would have been a better pick for RBR! Even for Gasly who could do with another developing year.

    1. Michael Brown (@)
      22nd August 2018, 9:23

      True. It serves Red Bull right for getting rid of them. Especially Vergne. Red Bull favoured Kvyat over him and they get what they deserved with him.

  18. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    21st August 2018, 3:53

    Oddly enough, Gasly will be the senior driver:-) He’s 2 years older than Max.

  19. He’ll take orders until there’s a Multi-21.

  20. Does this mean that he’s going to evolve into a Haunter?

  21. This could be career suicide for PG. This may have been a year too early. On the contrary, this could also be a career maker as well, that’s is, if he overturns the apple cart and starts beating Max.

    All the best!

    1. @jaymenon10 – Yes I agree risky to go up against Max but I don’t think he has too many other options did he?
      “Thanks Christian, lovely offer but 12 months time might work better for me, a bit more experience would be great” :)

      He has to take this, go up against Max and see how he goes. Button, Alonso and a few others said they got a seat too early, but they weren’t taking that chance were they. They might not get another seat!

      Best of luck to him, hope he goes well!! He does look the goods but Max is a big task.

  22. I hope he can rack up points while Crashtappen crashes. Pretty obvious Gasly will be number 2 in the team, but by going for 2 young drivers, I think Red Bull is admitting it might not be top 3 next year with Honda power. I hope Ricciardo works wonders at Renault and bring them past Red Bull.

  23. Entirely unsurprising. Fully expected especially after Sainz’s 2019 Mclaren switch confirmation/announcement.

  24. My new driver predictions:
    Lewis Hamilton
    Valtteri Bottas

    Sebastian Vettel
    Kimi Raikkonen

    Red Bull
    Max Verstappen
    Pierre Gasly

    Nico Hulkenberg
    Daniel Ricciardo

    Kevin Magnussen
    Esteban Ocon

    Force India
    Sergio Perez
    Lance Stroll

    Carlos Sainz
    Stoffel Vandoorne

    Toro Rosso
    Brendon Hartley
    Lando Norris

    Charles Leclerc
    Marcus Ericsson

    Sergey Sirotkin
    George Russell

  25. Gastly has no true form, due to 95% of its body being poisonous gas…
    Har har har.

  26. I’d like to see how people will rate the Red Bull pairing now. Many said RIC/VES was the best of the entire field. With the new arrangement, I can get the perceived measure of the former lineup separately.

  27. Michael Brown (@)
    22nd August 2018, 9:25

    I hope he doesn’t become another Kvyat.

  28. I hope he does well for his sake but this feels like a mistake. They already have a hot headed, immature and reckless youngster (wern’t we all at that age?).

    What they need is some restrained experience to bring home the points instead of stacking it by pushing too hard. Verstappen has lost a huge amount of points this season and I am concerned that they now have another one on their hands.

    Oh well, maybe it will pay off, dont blame them for trying a new strategy

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