Charles Leclerc, Pierre Gasly, Baku City Circuit, 2019

Leclerc feels “pretty sad” for Gasly after Red Bull driver swap

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Charles Leclerc expresses sympathy for Pierre Gasly after Red Bull demoted him back to Toro Rosso.

What they say

Leclerc was asked about Gasly’s seat swap with Alexander Albon:

I feel for Pierre. He’s a very good friend of mine. I’m pretty sad for him. But I think it’s also an opportunity for him to have a second chance and I hope he will take the full use of it.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Ocon deserves his Renault chance, says @Mmertens:

For me it’s a good move. I was impressed by Ocon’s consistency and overall speed in his first year.

To be honest Hulkenberg had his fair share of opportunity in different teams to try to show he’s big team material. When the pressure mounts he never showed to deliver, and I think that counts. Maybe he can be a good move to Haas, it would fit well at Racing Point if Lawrence Stroll didn’t own the team, but maybe he will be a good fit for Williams. He’s been there, and it would be a good benchmark for Russell, also Williams would profit from his experience.

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Author information

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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15 comments on “Leclerc feels “pretty sad” for Gasly after Red Bull driver swap”

  1. Re: Hughes Motorsport magazine article on Mercedes possible future post-VB signing.

    1. Can’t say I have had Russell on my radar to know much about him and his prospects.

    2. If I’m Max, I want to be at RBR for 2021 to at a minimum see what Newey and Honda bring in the new gen. No reason to think they won’t be formidable. If Mercedes want him for 2021 or onwards, they can wait. Max can control the pace on this and can scope out the situation at his pace. Mercedes will want him badly as will any team, so they’ll wait if he makes them. Why go to Mercedes on an unknown and risk missing out on what could be a super strong package? Stay at least for 2021 and experience the RBR situation and then go to Mercedes if need be. And for all we know Ferrari might be the stronger. If Liberty/Brawn have their way all three will be extremely close and there will be no one dominator anyway. So why wouldn’t Max stay where, by then, the car might fit him like a glove after this much engraining, and that might make the difference between the three teams or the three top competitors.

    3. I highly doubt Mercedes is going anywhere.

    1. I guess it’s just me that thinks this move has been a smart one for Mercedes?

      I agree, Mercedes isn’t going anywhere, but keeping VB around in case Lewis departs would be wise as he can be a benchmark for GR. Alternatively, if Lewis sticks around to see out his career with the company that’s supported his entire career, Mercedes can make way of VB for GR.

      These driver academies need to be supported and promoted otherwise what’s the point in them at all? If GR develops into a championship contending talent, then it’d be a glowing endorsement of the Mercedes program. Why would they not go with their own developed talent?

      A lot of speculation is around Max right now, but I don’t see any radical changes with him unless RB and Adrian/Honda trip up somewhere. My biggest question about that team is succession planning around Adrian retiring.

      Thoughts @robbie ?

  2. When I heard Ocon signed for 2 years with Renault, and Bottas only for 1 with Mercedes, I thought something was weird here. Ok, you have Russell but Hamilton might retire and you don’t want Bottas to lead a team whilst bringing through Russell. So, they either have to get Verstappen or Vettel at that point or…..

    HAM and BOT are now contracted till the end of 2020, Russell has 1 more year at Williams and Ocon is off their books. This means nothing is committed to passed next season and given the diminishing returns on their marketing dollar in F1 after winning 6 straight championships they might want to pull out altogether. That would damage F1 enormously :(

    1. Or…VB has been one year at a time all along, leaving them an opening as opportunity might arise anytime a better prospect comes along, be that GR or who knows, could be VB again, LH isn’t retiring any time soon, and Mercedes isn’t leaving F1.

    2. @jeffreyj

      I think Ricciardo signed a 2 year deal with Renault. So post 2020, he should be available for a Mercedes seat.

      I still don’t think Ricciardo-Bottas is a really formidable line up. Guess it all depends on how some of the young generation proves themselves. Russell and Norris could develop to be really strong competitors by the end of next season as well. If there’s any panic at Ferrari, either Leclerc or Vettel could be available. You never know with Red Bull and Max either. Honda is notorious for taking a step forward and two step backwards. If Max isn’t fighting for the title in 2020, then it becomes a possibility that Max might join the team as well.

      If I had to guess, I would think Lewis will stick around till 2021 or 2022. Mercedes would have a Lewis-Ricciardo lineup for 2021, with Max waiting in the wings once Lewis retires.

    3. @jeffreyj

      I strongly suspect that Ocon has an option in his contract with Renault, that allows him to leave for Mercedes, either for free or a limited fee.

      1. @aapje I can’t see Renault agreeing to such a lose-lose proposition for them, though.

        If Ocon has an option as you say, and does great next year, they’ll lose him to Mercedes and they have to search for a replacement. If he dissapoints they are stuck with a disappointment or they fire him and have to search for a replacement as well. It just wouldn’t make any sense for them.

        1. It’s not lose-lose if they get a big bag of money for taking in Ocon.

  3. Don’t get why everyone puts Hulk down. He crushed sainz who everyone puts up. Honestly I can see Hulk going up, if Albon fails to deliver I can see him at RB, if Vettel leaves I can see him at Ferrari. As a last resource he could save haas.

    1. I don’t know why they do either. They have very short term/selective memories when it comes to Nico. Can’t believe that was the comment of the day. Ocon is consistent… in clashing/taking his team mate out.

    2. @peartree Exactly, Hulkenberg outperformed Sainz by a big margin last year and won the F1.5 championship. This year he’s on par with Ricciardo…

      Hulk doesn’t deserve to be replaced by the likes of Ocon at Renault and he certainly should not be without a seat next year. Stroll, Kubica, Gasly, Giovinazzi, and Grosjean (in that order) should all lose their seat in F1 before Nico imho.

      1. @jeffreyj agreed and I’m sure teams know how capable he is, the press does not, or has forgotten.

  4. I thought they would lose their seat.
    But Rich Energy decals are still sitting on the Haas cars and Storey back on the board of whatever the company is called today.

    1. contract says 1 season they must wear the decals for 1 year untill a court say otherwise.

  5. I can both get, and not get why CL got asked about the Red Bull-driver swap. No, because this matter doesn’t concern/affect him one bit, but on the other hand, yes, because he competed against both of the concerned drivers in Karting.

    Regarding the COTD: Yes, I can share the same sentiments with it, although I still hope NH wouldn’t be entirely left out without a drive due to not getting a renewal at Renault.

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