Pierre Gasly’s Formula 1 future appears somewhat uncertain, after Sergio Pérez’ two-year contract extension at Red Bull Racing all but ended the Frenchman’s hopes of returning to the main fold.
Since being booted mid-season by Red Bull in 2019, Gasly has remained at Red Bull’s sister side, Scuderia AlphaTauri.
Gasly has performed exceptionally over the last couple of seasons, leaving former driver Felipe Massa to believe that the French driver deserves a top seat in the championship.
The 2008 runner-up discussed Gasly’s strong pace at the recent Monaco GP, which was outdone by strategic errors by his team.
“He was really quick the whole weekend [at the Monaco Grand Prix],” said Massa.
“In qualifying didn’t work well because of the strategy and the red flag, things didn’t work in the perfect way.
“But I mean the performances he is showing, for a long time already, he is unbelievable.
“He needs a good car too because he’s showing that he can drive a top car, he’s showing that he can even fight even for victories,” added the Brazilian.
That search for a top team will mean Gasly has to look away from the Red Bull set-up, unless he wants to remain at AlphTauri.
Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has claimed that Gasly can remain at AlphaTauri for 2023, leaving the French driver to potentially look for a move away from AlphaTauri in 2024.
However, there isn’t many seats available, with the Mercedes F1 Team, Ferrari and the McLaren F1 Team all having drivers confirmed for next year.
If Gasly wants to move next season, then his only hope would be the Alpine F1 Team, although Oscar Piastri would most likely get first dibs should Fernando Alonso retire from F1.
The same issue would occur should Daniel Ricciardo and McLaren part ways, with McLaren CEO Zak Brown being keen on introducing an IndyCar driver into the team.
It means that at least until 2024/25, AlphaTauri is the best seat available for Gasly, should he choose to remain with the Italian team.
Staying with AlphaTauri isn’t necessarily a bad thing, Gasly has enjoyed some great results since rejoining the team, including his maiden victory at the 2020 Italian Grand Prix.
Should Ferrari sign Gasly?
With Carlos Sainz having a stuttering start to the 2022 season, seemingly due to the intense pressure of having Charles Leclerc as his team-mate, there is a decent chance Ferrari could be in the market for a new driver.
And, with none of their junior drivers, particularly Mick Schumacher, looking ready for a seat at the Scuderia, Gasly could well be a good option for them.
However, Mattia Binotto will potentially be wary about signing the Frenchman, given how he underperformed in 2019 when being partnered by Max Verstappen at Red Bull.
The concern is, alongside Leclerc and with the pressure of competing at the front of the grid, Gasly could falter again and prove to be a liability for Ferrari.