Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri, Baku City Circuit, 2022

Gasly ‘considering all options’ for future after Perez locks out second Red Bull seat

2022 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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Pierre Gasly says he is open to leaving the Red Bull fold as there is no chance of him rejoining their top F1 team until 2025 at the earliest.

The AlphaTauri driver has been aiming for a return to the top team since he was dropped by them halfway through the 2019 season. However, Red Bull confirmed last week Sergio Perez had signed a new deal which will keep him alongside Max Verstappen for the next two seasons.

Gasly admitted it was a “logical” move for Red Bull to keep Perez on board. “It’s not like it was a surprise because I’m a very objective person and based on what they want from a second driver, Perez ticks all the boxes,” said Gasly.

“He is doing an amazing season, he is performing very well this season: Fast, has some back-up financially, good experience and he is a good fit for the team. So it’s not like it was a surprise at all for me.”

Gasly is in discussions with Red Bull motorsport consultant Helmut Marko on what Perez’s new deal means for his future.

“The impact it has on my career and with the ambitions that I have, it’s obviously affected it,” said Gasly. “So that’s what we are discussing at the moment with Helmut to obviously find what’s best for all of us and how do we go forward from there.”

Following his brief stint at Red Bull, Gasly made a successful return to their junior team. He believes his results since then, including a surprise win at the 2020 Italian Grand Prix, demonstrated he has the potential to be competitive in a front-running car.

“I showed last year when the car was more competitive what I can do in the midfield,” he said. “Not only last year, 2020 and 2019 as well.

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“So that’s why I say I understand their position but on the other side it doesn’t mean that I understand the fact that things should stay as they are. But it’s just finding what’s best for everyone.

“Obviously I’m committed to AlphaTauri right now. I give my best and will always give my best to this team even if we are going through harder times.”

Speaking in Baku, where he finished on the podium last year, Gasly admitted he was surprised by the sudden decline in his team’s competitiveness.

“This year is not as competitive as we would have liked, not as competitive as last year, which is obviously not as exciting,” he said. “Last year we were qualifying P6, lining up I don’t know how many times next to Charles [Leclerc].

“It’s crazy in a year how things can change. On one side, Charles is fighting for the championship and we’re fighting barely to make it into the top ten. So it’s a more difficult time but also I like the challenge of trying to push the team forward.

“But personally, obviously, I have ambitions and my ambitions are more than just fighting for top ten. That’s not what I work for every day. I want more than that, I want to fight at the front.

“Priority number one is first to perform with AlphaTauri and to discuss with Helmut on what’s best for all of us, which we do. And after 10 years or so of relationship, they’ve known me since I was a kid, they know me exactly, we have a really good relationship, actually, with Helmut. And I think it’s a matter of finding how to make this work for all of us.”

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Gasly’s current contract will keep him at AlphaTauri until the end of next year. “Beyond 2023 I consider all options as I don’t have anything beyond that,” he confirmed.

“These are things we need to discuss with Helmut. Obviously they want to keep me in the programme but we need to see how to make this work. It’s just normal conversations that are ongoing.”

His immediate successor at Red Bull, Alexander Albon, now races for Williams with sponsorship from the energy drinks giant. Gasly said he would be open to a similar arrangement in future.

“At the moment, I would say yes. I don’t want to elaborate because I don’t want to make headlines about what’s happening.”

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32 comments on “Gasly ‘considering all options’ for future after Perez locks out second Red Bull seat”

  1. I fear this season’s results mean Pierre’s “options” boil down to staying at Alpha Tauri or leaving Formula 1.

    1. The car is crap and luck isn’t on his side

      1. Even if the car were crap (it’s not, that’s a distinction reserved for the Dorilton F1) he shouldn’t find himself behind his teammate in the standings.

    2. @proesterchen Agree, he needs to put on his rocket shoes and start scoring more points than his jr. teammate. Currently it’s not a good look and will be very hard to fill his dance card with any good prospects next season if he doesn’t.

  2. Dont make the same mistake as Daniel Ric, stay at Alpha, even if for 2 more years. All top teams have top driver which is backed by the team. So its not like he will get equal opportunities everywhere unless its a Alpine or Alpha Romeo.

  3. I’ve said this already but mark my words. He will be in Papaya Orange next year

    1. I believe that too

    2. I think that would be a possible move. If you consider that Zac Brown has suggested “mechanisms” being in play then its certainly one i might look to explore.

      1. Except that there have been those suggesting he’d prefer an American driver to try and cash in on the expansion into the US market.

        1. Another thing to consider from McLaren’s perspective.

          An American driver would be great from a commercial perspective, but are there any drivers who could slide into the second seat and perform well? Remember, Constructor’s points are a big deal and Zac needs somebody who can consistently score points in that seat.

          Gasly could do that and is still improving as a driver. I think he comes with more upside than Ric who seems a bit lost. If nothing else, I can see Gasly being more motivated at this point in his career. That hunger could be an intangible that factors in any decision.

          Realistically, an American driver from IndyCar or via the European feeder series is probably a few years out. I could see a Colin Herta being a backup driver or maybe driving a few rounds in a backmarker car. I doubt any top team would drop somebody like Herta into a top seat right away.

          Long-term though, I could see 1-2 *proficient* American drivers on the grid if they can first demonstrate their skills testing or practicing. The sponsorship potential is massive since F1 is definitely gaining popularity here in the States. The key is somebody who could do reasonably well against the current crop of F1 drivers. This would not be an easy task but also not an insurmountable one.

          My thoughts as a Yank F1 fan.

          1. Coventry Climax
            9th June 2022, 19:00

            And very realistic indeed.
            Money talks very loud in F1 however. Mick in F1 isn’t all that realistic either, but it did happen, for $ reasons mainly I would think.
            Bottom line, stranger things have happened.

          2. Well, they have been working in getting O’Wards super license points for the past year, if he clinches the Indy title this year I believe he could be a real option for Zak rather than Herta from the marketing perspective. If you have gone to any Indycar race this past year you’ll see O’Ward fans everywhere, the little guy has a very charming and marketable personality and we know Zak is a marketing guy. He can reach not only US fans but Mexican as well. He is already within the McLaren ecosystem, and has been performing much better than Herta. Herta is fast, yes, but he is too unpredictable and tends to make silly and costly mistakes, while Pato is very exciting to watch in the car and outside the car, just go and check McLaren’s social media and how they have been building up Pato’s social media presence. As far as Gasly goes, while he is a solid driver, he has a similar driving style to Danny’s so might not be a good fit for this car.

    3. @broke1984
      More likely 2024, with both his general RB & Ricciardo’s 3-year deal expiring simultaneously at next year’s end.

  4. If McLaren did decide to dispense with Ricciardo’s services then Pierre would definitely be an option for them. I guess Alpine might be another option if Alonso decides to finish at the end of 2023. I am not sure how long his contract is. Also Alfa Romeo possibly?

    1. @phil-f1-21 Alpine isn’t really an option for him anymore since Piastri is a clear priority in any driver change scenario & Pouchaire likewise for Alfa. Mclaren, possibly AM, & Williams.

      1. I think outside of Nationality, Alpine/Renault is not an option now. Unless Ocon goes to AMG-Mercedes and Alonso retires, I don’t think that seat is a realistic option. Piastri would have first shot at a seat there methinks.

        McLaren would be Gasly’s best option, it’s a competitive team that is getting better. They aren’t at the front but have shown potential and could well be a race-winning team again.

        Aston-Martin is a mystery, they have financial backing but seems lost with this year’s car. Seb has to be looking for the exits soon and Stroll isn’t getting any better. If Seb leaves and McLaren gets somebody else, this may be a palatable alternative. Probably not a race-winning team but Gasly would have more resources behind him.

        Williams is a last-resort I think, only if he wants to stay on the grid. Albon has shown the car isn’t terrible, with good driving and smart strategy can they do ok. But it would be a backwards step since they wouldn’t be as competitive as AT. It pains me to say this because Team Willie has always been my favorite (since 1985).

        I think Latifi is a goner though. He isn’t getting better and Williams needs another competent driver who can score points. Albon is acquitting himself well at Williams, which is a credit to his ability and mental strength.

        1. @Doug Adamavich, I also view Williams as a last-resort choice at max but forgot to add Mercedes as a theoretical option. However, I expect Hamilton to continue beyond his current contract stint (also until 2023-end).

      2. I guess we can never say never though. Stranger things have happened. If Gasly was available perhaps a team might fancy to employ him over a rookie. Maybe not necessarily Alpine. He would cost more though. Gasly has proven himself to be a decent pilot.

        I never thought of AM. It would depend if Seb retires and I am not sure he will. He seems to be in quite a good place at the moment. If neither McLaren, Alpine, Alfa or AM work out then he would be better off at AT.

      3. @jerejj Imagine Bottas & Pourchaire in Alfa and if Theo could keep his speed to F1 that would be a very very good line up

    2. petebaldwin (@)
      9th June 2022, 19:37

      @phil-f1-21 – From what I’ve heard, there is a break clause in the contract but it’s in Ricciardo’s favour. He can leave if he wants but McLaren would have to pay him off if they want to get rid of him. Ricciardo won’t have anywhere to go if he leaves so I’d expect him to stay on and hope things turn around.

  5. It’s so weird the behavior of Red Bull drivers. Marko’s approach to his ‘drivers academy’ turns them into a kind of eternal schizophrenic climber. The kids keep doing desesperately statements run about run away or moving to other teams at any interview.

    Why does any of those driver promise to commit to build this team around them?

    In a certain way, it proves the useless place of Alpha Tauri in F1, condemned to never win and be competitive to fight the main team.

    They only exist to be Red Bull’s ‘brooder’. There´s no ambition there.

    1. @becken-lima Admittedly, this is what the overall situation looks like & I share your view in principle.

  6. Albon may have a personal sponsor in the form of RB’s Thai division Krating Daeng.
    However, I somewhat doubt Gasly would continue containing anything RB-related if he left them altogether, even on a personal sponsor level.

  7. “Obviously…”

    1. @dot_com I know right. F1 people have overused this particular word for a long time, seemingly more than individuals in other series & sports, so mainly an F1 thing.

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        9th June 2022, 19:50

        @jerejj – Sports seem to have their own weird words they repeat. It used to be “for sure” in F1 but they’ve dropped that now and all say “obviously” all the time.

        Premiership footballers say “yeah, I mean….” to start every answer they give and then constantly say “you know” over and over.

  8. Perhaps reading too much into this but Gasly saying Perez is a perfect “second driver” shows why he doesn’t have that seat. I don’t know if he is trying to belittle Perez but this begs the question whether he would have accepted being the second driver. From his recent comments, he thinks he should be fighting for everything. So, if I were RBR I’d never go for a guy who would not accept a “second driver” role if the circumstances so require. And, yes, Gasly is right that Perez is a perfect second driver if that means he is a team player. He has shown it last year. I wonder whether Gasly would have put up that strong fight against Hamilton (Turkey, Brazil UAE) last year …

    It’s hard to be demoted and not wanted within your own team. It is hard that you are implicitly told time and again to be not good enough for the higher echelons of your team (RBR). So, Gasly must have gone through a difficult time. But he should speak less and perform better because I remember a handful of good races but just that, a handful, and even those are not memorable …

    1. If perez was needed to accept being second driver had it been written on his current/new contract I doubt he would’ve signed his new one this early, or would sign it at all. I think RB made their feelings very clear with gasly giving perez 2 years instead of 1, and all the media fuss he’s made about that seat since last year I doubt has helped the smallest chance of the seat he still had very much. All he needed was to deliver, which he had been doing, and cut the media fussiness and maybe he would’ve still had a chance now. There isn’t any need to be so salty

  9. To me Gasly is hard to value. Inconsistent is the word that pops to mind primarily. Not sure who has use for an inconsistent driver. Said it before and borrowed it from Peter Windsor, he is too reactive and not proactive. So the first thing that he should be valued against is a 2nd driver position. Only top teams benefit from such position. Looking at Merc, RB and Ferrari they have their line-up. McLaren could team him with Lando, but I do not think he would add something significantly vs Ricciardo other than age. So they could give it a try with a one year contract. Still they would be anxious why RB (having all the data on him) did not consider him for that role.

  10. My money is on Ricciardo and Gasly to swap places, potentially Ricciardo out of F1 altogether – but I doubt that.

  11. Tiaki Porangi
    10th June 2022, 8:01

    He’s letting Mercedes know that he’s available if Lewis bows out at the end of this season.

  12. Everybody is talking about Gasly taking Danny’s seat but nobody is talking about O’Ward being a real option. The young Mexican has a huge fan base in Indycar, he tested the MCL35M in AbuDhabi in December and will do one or two FP1 this season. If he can clinch the Indy title or at least give a good run and come in second, he could have all his super license points. From the marketing perspective he is a cash cow, Zak would be able to capitalize on the US and Mexican markets. Also he is good friends with Lando, while Gasly is not exactly known to be a team player, and while he can deliver he is also too inconsistent at times.

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