Gasly’s chance of Red Bull return “depends on how Sergio is performing”

2021 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Pierre Gasly says his chances of returning to Red Bull depend on how Sergio Perez performs at the team this year.

Max Verstappen is locked into a long-term deal at the team but Red Bull has changed his team mate three times since Daniel Ricciardo left in 2018. Gasly was his first replacement, but was dropped after just 12 races.

His replacement, Alexander Albon, lasted a year and a half before also being replaced. Sergio Perez took his place at the end of last season.

While Perez won for the team in Baku this year, Gasly scored a shock win for Red Bull’s junior team AlphaTauri at Monza last season. He is hopeful he will get a chance to return to the top team, but says the decision is “in Red Bull’s hands.”

“Max is signed for next year in the top team,” Gasly explained. “Sergio I think has a one-year contract so we’ll see what happens there and then what we do going forward together.

“I’m obviously contracted with them for some more time and I’m pretty confident we will get some answers at some point during the summer break or after the summer break.”

Gasly said Red Bull is eager to raise the performance of AlphaTauri, which was previously known as Toro Rosso. “They want a leader in AlphaTauri to push the team forward and really try to bring this team up,” he said. “I think there is a great working relationship now and a real will to push AlphaTauri forward.

“Obviously, as a driver, you always want to be in the best car and fighting for the best position and that’s what we are discussing. But ultimately I think, on my side, I’m only focussing on performing weekend after weekend, race after race and and showing my potential.

“It’s in their hands, whether they want me to step up or whether they are happy with the pair they have and it depends on how Sergio is performing and how they’re planning the future for AlphaTauri. So we’re discussing a lot of things.

“I think generally it’s really positive. It’s always better when there is communication and things are going well. At the moment there is no more answer than that but I expect some some more news over the next few weeks.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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26 comments on “Gasly’s chance of Red Bull return “depends on how Sergio is performing””

  1. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    29th July 2021, 13:07

    If Red Bull are serious of pushing AlphaTauri into more of a sister team role than junior – as in aiding them to challenge for race wins and championship in the future in their own right then staying there and being king of his own castle is probably better than playing Verstappen’s wingman – which arguably is what Red Bull would want for the lead team. But if AlphaTauri are nothing more than a junior squad for Red Bull’s driver programme then he’s got about another 2 years before he’s used as a benchmark to train newbies and then ejected.

    He’s improved a lot since his Red Bull stint, probably deserves a stronger car than he’s got currently. But there’s not many places for him to go unless he wants to try and unseat Ricciardo or Vettel.

    1. @rocketpanda Alpha Tauri will never beat Red Bull Racing on merit over a season. The Red Bull B-team mightn’t be a pure junior team anymore, but still a B-team, so he has realistically at maximum one more season there as Red Bull won’t forever avoid promoting another driver to F1. If not next season, 2023, even more likely.
      Maybe Alpine in 2023 replacing Alonso. Time will tell.

    2. Absolutely true the first paragraph. I’m not confident on gasly’s ability to perform at a top team, but he’s worth a shop, surely if perez continues disappointing (he’s not been bottas level this year).

      1. Ops, shot ofc.

  2. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
    29th July 2021, 13:13

    I would love to see him get another chance. His show of resilience after Hubert death and demotion has been truly inspiring and has clearly made him a better driver and a tougher human being. Most disappear without trace after the Red Bull demotion but Gasly has been incredible in that Alpha Tauri. The image of him sat on the Monza podium soaking it in on his own is iconic.

    1. I think only kvyat drove terribly (at first) after being demoted to toro rosso, after that he started driving decently again, so generally drivers seem to get back to their toro rosso level after being demoted from red bull for bad driving, albon didn’t get that chance but I’m sure he’d have been fine for alpha.

      1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
        29th July 2021, 15:06

        Nah Kyvat was superb in his first season at Toro Rosso, he was bang average after his demotion.

  3. If Gasly returns to Red Bull I think he would need to get his current race engineer with him. They seem to be working very well together.

    1. @bleu Easier said than done. I’m sure he’d fit better with Checo’s current race engineer than he did with Mike Lugg.

  4. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    29th July 2021, 13:18

    No driver should go near that car. 3 drivers have failed to do well in that car and Ricciardo was struggling when he left.

    It’s pretty obvious at this point that it’s not the driver but the car. It’s like asking a tennis player to play with a racquet that’s custom made to suit 1 player’s style. Half your balls are going to be long for the 1st 5 years or you’re going to be hitting as if you’ve never held a racquet in your life…

    1. @freelittlebirds Too early for definitive judgment on Perez, but the Tennis reference is interesting and weird.

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        29th July 2021, 15:02

        @jerejj agreed, too early for definitive judgment but not too early for judgment.

        We have to go off the current situation based off the 10 races. It’s safe to assume that while Perez might make marginal improvements or put alternative tire strategies to good use, he’s not likely to beat Verstappen on pace in the Red Bull.

    2. I have to say I expected better from perez, he’s not been albon or gasly level at red bull, but he’s been a bit subpar, like I said on another thread he had highs and lows, while bottas has been consistent with getting podiums.

  5. If RedBull can somehow harness the power of the revolving door on the 2nd car, they would have a 1000hp advantage over the other engines.

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      29th July 2021, 13:28

      Actually, the hybrid Red Bulls have only really benefited 1 driver, maybe 2 drivers if you include Ricciardo. Ricciardo got the hell out of Dodge before he ended up also being 0.5 second behind Verstappen which was guaranteed to happen.

      Red Bull Casualties:

      The number of casualties is so low only because they can only replace 1 driver, otherwise this list would have been twice as long.

      Yeah, I think Gasly should definitely jump at the opportunity to drive the Red Bull. But he should first secure a seat in another series for the same season :-)

      1. @freelittlebirds Another series? I’m not sure if he could merely secure a separate drive simultaneously.

        1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          29th July 2021, 14:55

          @jerejj it’s a joke – it’s like joining Red Bull and before your 1st race, you have your F1 goodbye party:-)

          You may as well do that since the odds of doing well are minimal.

      2. I don’t unnderstand why vettel would be a casualty, he won 4 titles with them, the only titles he’ll ever win!

        1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          29th July 2021, 14:57

          @esploratore1 you may want to pay more attention to details not just here but also in the crash between Hamilton and Verstappen. I said “hybrid” Red Bulls.

      3. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        29th July 2021, 15:04

        Oh, Sainz dodged a bullet by leaving Red Bull :-) If he had been promoted alongside Verstappen, the odds are that he would have been on that list.

  6. Would love to see him at Alpine with Alonso but oh well

  7. I honestly think that moving to Redbull while Max is in the other seat would be detrimental for his career. He has improved as a driver since his first stint there, but I suspect if he moved back he would still be consistently outperformed and questioned about his performance every weekend – the same as every other driver has been since Ricciardo. That can’t be good for your confidence as a driver and is probably what a significant factor that caused him to underperform the first time around. Bottas seems to be suffering a similar fate at Mercedes and seems less capable of challenging Lewis than ever, while his stock as a driver has diminished considerably, just because he is up against one of the very best.

    If Max moves on for whatever reason then ofc Redbull would be a great seat for Pierre, but I’m not sure he can afford to sit at Alpha Tauri until that happens. Most likely circumstance for that would be Lewis retiring and Mercedes not having enough faith in Russell to position him as their championship contender, but that is at least another two seasons away if not more.

    Having said that, I’m not sure where another opportunity will arise within that time frame. Ocon signing a 3-year deal could be bad news for him, as Alpine seemed like a good fit. Perhaps he would be considered after Alonso’s retirement, but his animosity with Ocon might be a factor unless they can reconcile before then.

    1. @keithedin Alpine (or F1 teams generally) couldn’t care less about something such trivial that doesn’t even concern them to any extent since this is about something that happened entirely outside of F1, not to mention forever ago.
      They were 13 or so at the time.

    2. However it’s not like red bull were expecting much from perez, they expected him to do the job bottas does, so in a season like this hamilton and verstappen fight for wins, you’re expected to fight for 3rd, and generally always end 3rd or 4th, bottas is doing that, perez isn’t.

  8. No, Pierre, don’t do it! I’m sure it’s tempting and he feels he has unfinished business. But the evil spell on that seat has not been lifted.

  9. Spain dodged them. France should do it, and hopefully Great Britain too.

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