Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri, Nurburgring, 2020

AlphaTauri confirm Gasly will drive for them again in 2021

2021 F1 season

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AlphaTauri has confirmed one of its two drivers for the 2021 F1 season. Pierre Gasly will remain at the team next year.

“I’m extremely happy to continue with Scuderia AlphaTauri for another season,” said Gasly, who scored a shock maiden victory in the Italian Grand Prix for the team earlier this year.

“This year is going very well, and we are on track to have our most successful season in the team’s history. I feel we have a very strong relationship, we have managed to take every opportunity that’s come our way, the best one at the Italian Grand Prix. Winning my first Formula 1 race in Monza was a very special moment for me, and it was made extra sweet to deliver a second win in the team’s history, so I’m very proud of that.”

Gasly made his F1 debut with the team, previously known as Toro Rosso, in late 2017. He was promoted to Red Bull in 2019, but lasted just 12 races at the senior team before returning.

His 2020 campaign has been consistently strong, and he lies ninth in the drivers’ championship just one point behind the driver who replaced him at Red Bull, Alexander Albon.

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“I’ll do my maximum to push the team and take all my responsibility to bring it as far forward as I can. I’m looking forward to next year’s challenge and continuing with AlphaTauri both as a premium fashion brand and a racing team, to keep performing as much as I can to achieve even more success in the future.”

“I had to fight for everything in my career” – Gasly on becoming an F1 race-winner
AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost said: “I hope he will remain in the Red Bull family for many seasons ahead.

“Since he came back to the team last year he consistently showed extremely good performances achieving two podiums, with a second place in Brazil in 2019 and a win at the team’s home race at this year’s Italian Grand Prix.

“Pierre has proven to be highly competitive also thanks to his great race craft, extracting the car’s potential at every race and giving valuable feedback to his engineers. He is mentally very strong, he is always motivated and when he sets a goal he gives it his all to achieve it. I’m looking forward to extending this cooperation and having a successful 2021 season together.”

There has been no word yet from the team on whether Gasly’s current team mate, Daniil Kvyat, will also be retained. AlphaTauri will test Formula 2 race winner Yuki Tsunoda later this year as part of an evaluation for a potential promotion to F1.

View the updated list of 2021 F1 drivers and teams

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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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49 comments on “AlphaTauri confirm Gasly will drive for them again in 2021”

  1. Good on Gasly, well deserved and really, how could you ditch a guy after he wins a race for you?

    Guess the lack of Kvyat announcement tells the story on that. Guess Albon’s got his name on that seat, I hope they give Tsunoda more time in F2.

    1. @aiii No point in overlooking Tsunoda if and when he becomes eligible for a super license.

  2. I predict Perez will join Red Bull with Albon dropping back to Alpha Tauri. I wouldn’t promote Tsunoda from F2 just yet.

    1. @mashiat Albon is more likely going to be gone altogether than getting demoted to AT should he lose his drive at RBR.

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        28th October 2020, 11:30

        @jerejj – The only thing I’d say about that is this is exactly what we all thought about Gasley when he struggled. I personally think Albon deserves a chance at Toro Rosso against Gasley to prove himself if he’s not kept by RB.

      2. Red Bull like Albon so much, I doubt they’d drop him altogether. I also suspect that they give him another chance at Alpha Tauri. By the way, why have Red Bull been so adamant in giving Albon chance after chance yet they dropped Gasly mid-season? Why didn’t they exercise the same patience with Gasly?

    2. I’d like to see Perez or Hülkenberg in the other Alpha Tauri – that’d be a strong and hungry line-up, way better thanthe obvious number 2s and dinosaurs roaming the grid next year…

      1. Perez and Hulk have been in F1 for 9 & 10 years respectively, at what point do they become “dinosaurs”? Only HAM VET GRO & RAI have more years on them

        1. The answer lies within your question. Once Ham and Vet become dinosaurs we can start considering Perez and Hulk.

  3. When Marko (or Horner) said that both teams need n. 1 driver this announcement was coming.

    1. Does that mean AT is no longer a junior team? Are the teams more like 1A and 1B now?

      It does seem that the cars (RB and AT) are more closer in performance this year and probably the trend is expected to continue. With Honda exiting the sport and with example of Haas and Racing Point, I guess Red Bull figured that savings costs by sharing parts is the better option going forward. In that scenario, AT doesn’t become a finishing school but more like a team 1B to the team 1A (RB). Hence, it now needs experienced fast drivers rather than inexperienced juniors.

      1. Yes, it’s considered more of a sister team now. With the budget cap coming in, and the fact they share the “Red Bull technologies” resources, it makes sense to elevate AlphaTauri to that status, rather than consider it a b-team.

  4. Sensible decision. I wonder what the Albon plan will be.

    1. @broke84 Red Bull Racing or nothing is the most likely scenario.

      1. Nah… Send Albon back to AT, and have Red Bull just one car with Verstappen. Let them ditch the second car. Who needs a second car if it will never perform? Doesn’t it save costs as well? LOL.

        On a serious note, I am no longer in the side that Albon is the issue at Red Bull. Maybe Albon is slower than Verstappen. But he is not that flipping slow every race.

        1. 1 Lap behind is slow enough I believe

  5. What can a midfield driver do better than winning a race and having a stellar, solid season to graduate in a top-team ?

    Nothing, as long as money prevails over talent…

    1. I think Gasly remaining at AlphaTauri rather than being promoted back to Red Bull has more to do with Horner and Marko being too proud and stubborn to admit to their mistake, than money. Watching the hamster wheel in their heads spin as they try to double down on their “Alex is a better driver than Pierre” despite all the evidence to the contrary is laughable. But still, anything to avoid admitting they were wrong.

    2. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
      28th October 2020, 11:14

      In all fairness, I think Gasly would (or should?) prefer to stay at AT rather than be promoted to to Red Bull Racin.g I don’t even think the word promotion applies anymore.

      Not just Gasly, but Albon as well, showed that you can perform amazing things if you feel comfortable in a car and a team. Whereas if you don’t, you just struggle and fail. AT has scored as good as Red Bull if not better at times and mostly on tracks that don’t really suit Red Bull. The AT seems to be much quicker in a straight line, leading at least me to think there’s a different direction there when it comes to car ideas. Sure, they get a lot of Red Bull parts (and even mroe in 2021), but they tak a different approach with the rest. So I wouldn’t be at all surprised if AT continues to perform better than Red Bull on certain tracks. Which again makes you wonder what the point would be to move a driver over.

      Especially looking at 2022, when the entire field is (allegedly) coming closer together. AT can’t lag behind and if the midfield truely vanishes, that means RB will ahve to battle with AT as well: no more A-team and B-team (which was already less the case the last season). I truely believe Pierre could become the leader of AT (or whatever the team becomes in the future) and be in the right place when the rules come his/their way.

      1. I don’t agree, RedBull has 3 times the points of Alpha Tauri, so of course there would be a point of moving a driver over. maybe even Max should join AT then?
        the only time when the two teams where anywhere close in terms of standings was 2008 but i guess that was mostly due to Vettel

        1. @nickthegreek Actually Albon and Gasly are virtually tied in points this year. This applies to last year too. This means that these two drivers are collecting just as much (or little if you will) points driving for Red Bull as they are for Alpha Tauri. So potentially the Red Bull is the faster car, but apparently a tier 2 team that found the sweet spot in the setup (Alpha Tauri) is equally fast as a top tier team who is quite lost in the setup for their second driver (Red Bull).

        2. @nickthegreek Last season after 12 races in the Red Bull, Gasly had 63 points. This year after 12 races, in a “worse” car, he has…63 points. The Red Bull has a higher ceiling than the Alpha Tauri, but Gasly certainly finds it a lot easier to find the limit with the Alpha Tauri than the Red Bull. Christian Horner himself mentioned that both Albon and Gasly had similar comments as to how the Red Bull is a lot tougher to drive, despite being quicker in theory. Certain drivers suit certain cars better. If you put Raikkonen in the quickest car, but don’t give him a sharp front end, he won’t be able to extract anywhere near the best from the car. Give him a slower car but with what he wants, and he’ll go quicker.

    3. He already got his chance. He can only blame himself for blowing it.

  6. I believe Kyvat is out… I also hope they don’t promote Tsunoda yet: I believe he has a lot of potential but promoting him too early might just mess up his career.

    1. @arhn How do you define ‘too’ early anyway? He’s ready for F1 next season. He, of course, wouldn’t go straight to Red Bull Racing anyway, so no risk.

      1. It’s my personal opinion (obviously) but he spent only one season in F2, despite very good results. I feel like rushing him in F1 and siding him with Gasly (who is at his peak performance right now) could have a negative impact, should he not be in par with Gasly. Red Bull can be very quick to sack drivers who are not matching or beating their teammates, so I’d rather have Tsunoda wait another year and be better prepared.

        1. @arhn Fair enough assessment.

      2. @jerejj Tsunoda hasn’t even fully proved himself as a standout in F2 yet, which should be the minimum requirement to join F1. He has shown that he can be quick, but his consistency is still lacking. Red Bull should be in no rush to promote him just yet, as they can keep Albon at AT for one season then perhaps evaluate whether Tsunoda should take his place.

  7. In other words, Albon (along with Kvyat) out altogether should he be let go from Red Bull Racing, given the likelihood of Tsunoda getting the other drive at Alpha Tauri. Juri Vips is also eligible for a super license, so for sure, Red Bull isn’t going to overlook both of them in favor of drivers who already had got dropped once. I suppose, no truth to the Renault rumors, after all. Maybe in 2022.

  8. I am sure that Kvyat will not get the second drive. It has to be either Alex Albon or Yuki Tsunoda. I am not sure what they will do if Albon doesn’t impress enough at Red Bull, but Tsunoda does get enough superlicense points. It would be very harsh on Albon to drop him entirely, but Honda will surely be pushing for Tsunoda. I hope Albon gets the second Alpha Tauri drive, with Perez or Hulkenberg in Red Bull.

    1. @f1frog More likely Albon would be gone altogether as overlooking Tsunoda would be foolish from RB.

    2. Why the rush? Tsunoda and Vips can have an additional year in F2 to show they are ready for promotion?
      I don’t understand why people are promoted before being a F2 champion.

  9. This pretty much confirms to me that Red Bull believe Gasly and Albon’s issues are not just down to the driver, otherwise why not promote Gasly again he’s been consistently one of the stand out drivers this year and even has a win to his name. It’s more likely that Verstappens driving style is unique enough that it makes the car very difficult for another driver, unusual in F1 but very common in motoGP see Casey Stoner at Ducatti or Marc Marquez at Honda. Therefore their best bet for a second driver isn’t necessarily down to out and out performance but someone who’s driving style is similar to Verstappens. And you know who also likes a car with a lot of front that you can throw around, and who just had a very strong result? Kimi Raikonnen.

    So thats my input to silly season, forget Perez and Hulkenburg it will be Kimi in that second red bull :p

    1. @yossarian Raikkonen has had more than enough chances with a car capable of challenging for victories, let him be in the midfield where he isn’t out of his depth. Signing Raikkonen makes no sense whatsoever for me, as he won’t be anywhere near Verstappen and there is no medium or long future to the choice. Ironically, the two drivers who fulfil all the requirements Red Bull are looking for are the two guys who have walked away from them in recent times: Sainz and Ricciardo.

  10. Another demotion from RBR to AT? I mean Albon, if Tsunoda doesn’t get his seat.
    At least demoting Kvyat was a no brainier to secure Verstappen. But after the Ricciardo surprise all RBR could do is keep testing its drivers on live TV!
    In my opinion, Gasly will remain at AT as an insurance policy.
    And it sign us that Verstappen’s wingman won’t come out of RBR’s pool of talent and it’s all been decided. It will be an outsider. My bet is on Perez.
    Only one seat left. Mazepin?
    Haas – SCH + ?

  11. All but confirms the 2nd RB seat to driver outside the stable.

  12. Really pleased for him that he avoided demotion to the Red Bull number two seat. Well deserved.

    1. Very well said. AT is a great place for him. He really thrives there. RB no. 2 seat seems very undesirable and I am not sure it will be a great option for Sergio Perez if he ends up there.

  13. Albon is a tricky one – his half season in 2019 was actually pretty impressive, consistently finishing 5/6th when the Ferrari’s were regular podium cars (along with the 2 Merc’s and Max), it just seems like his preparation for this season was just completely wrong and he never hit the ground running. I suspect, if it was a normal year, he would have been able to carry that momentum on, but it’s certainly not been a normal year!

  14. Glad for Pierre. Him and AT seem to suit each other very well and he has done well there. I never really expected him to be ‘promoted’ back to RBR.

    I know there is speculation about Tsunoda but I really doubt RB will drop Alex all together. Is the team (company) not part owned by Thai interests? Then it would be more really bad publicity for them which I don’t think they really want. My instinct is that Albon will either stay at RBR or be moved back to AT at the end of the season. If he is then he will be replaced by an outsider to the company e.g. Perez or Hulkenberg.

    1. @phil-f1-21 I don’t think the part Thai-ownership matters much in this context. Red Bull has traditionally solely been about performance on the tracks.

  15. If Gasly is staying, I’d say Tsunoda is a good choice for the second seat. I really can’t see Red Bull ejecting Albon completely, so I’d say he’s pretty safe to stay.

  16. How much of this announcement comes back to Gasly not being able to be dragged back to RB with wild horses?

  17. I guess this puts paid to the rumours that Gasly may have been going to Renault/Alpine for 2021 which would’ve caused an interesting domino effect (would have been Albon + Tsunoda at AT for 2021 then definitely Hulk/Perez to partner Max at RBR). Suppose we still don’t know if Albon gets the second AT seat or doesn’t stay in F1 at all. I am leaning towards him leaving F1 for maybe FE with Tsunoda partnering Gasly, but then maybe RBR still want a straight fight between Albon and Gasly to see who they want for the senior team in 2022/23 once Perez/Hulk have retired.

  18. Good move for AT. I think he’s showed enough this year that he deserved the call up to RB but no point going there when all the attention is focused on the number 1 car and you’re left with the scraps. Another promising year at AT and Renault may come calling. This year has done wonders for his stock and while he has been lucky to get some results, you still have to deliver on them which other drivers in the past have failed.

  19. I’m a broken record on this but I’m desperate for Hulk to be on the grid next year.

    I want him to be in the redbull and I think this paves the way for it.
    Pretty ominous for Kvyat and it makes perfect sense to have a Gasly v Albon shootout next year.

    Also I doubt that RB are too bothered about Perez’s money. They’re one of the better funded teams, Williams need that more so could make it more attractive for Perez to go there.

    1. Money aside, Perez is the better driver, they were pretty even when teammates with close magin for Checo in points, but I believe Perez has improveed a lot in qualy, and he is having a supreme consistency. Hulk would only be a better option if RB is looking for a less challenging teammate for Verstappen, as many think none of them would be able to match VER, but I think PER would be closer to fight Bottas than Hulk.

  20. Albon seems to be a perfectly good guy.
    His season shows he not able to wring the life out of the REDBULL and Max is a vastly stronger number one.
    Whip the Horse and it runs like the wind. To simply ride on the horse is what Albon is doing. The other top teams are cracking their whips yet Albon seems to just ride along. It’ll catch up at some point. That day has come.

  21. @keithcollantine …if Red Bull don’t keep Albon, that’s him OFF the grid next year. I say that because I’m 100% sure Tsunoda is getting the other Alpha Tauri seat.

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