Franz Tost comments on Pierre Gasly exit clause, Red Bull call-up

Pierre Gasly has a contract at AlphaTauri until the end of next year.

AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost has ruled out losing Pierre Gasly at the end of this season amid rumours of an exit clause.

There is a bit of a mess happening in the driver market at the moment, and all of it seems to revolve around Alpine, who have had a rough week.

Sebastian Vettel announced his retirement ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix before the summer break, leading to several days of speculation as to whom might replace him at Aston Martin.

Fernando Alonso has been waiting on Alpine to give him an adequate contract this season, and they are understood to have offered him a one plus one, meaning that there is an option at the end of the first season.

READ: Daniel Ricciardo reveals which driver he’s most impressed by

The Spaniard was also being used as somewhat of a bridge so that reserve driver Oscar Piastri could climb into the sport by 2024, which would be at Alonso’s expense.

The 41-year-old did not fancy having limitations being put on his career for another driver, so he signed with Aston Martin in Budapest, and never told his team about the move.

That left Alpine with one certain option – put Piastri in the car alongside Esteban Ocon next year.

When they announced the Australian’s signature though, he revolted against them, affirming that he will not be part of the team in 2023, as he has reportedly made a deal with McLaren to replace Daniel Ricciardo.

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The Australian was not having any luck finding a loan move, and Alpine, naturally, did not want to eliminate their alternative option if Alonso decided not to re-sign, so Piastri went looking elsewhere.

The Enstone-based team are still convinced that they have a contractual agreement with the reigning Formula 2 champion, but in case he does go to McLaren, there are other drivers who could become available.

The more obvious one is to swoop in for Ricciardo, bringing him back to the team he initially signed for in 2019 before leaving two seasons later.

The other is Pierre Gasly. The 26-year-old has been unequivocal in that he has no interest in being part of the Red Bull system if he is unable to make his way back into the main fold.

READ: Alpine set to take Oscar Piastri and McLaren to court

Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez both have long contracts, and Gasly has recently signed a deal that keeps him in the AlphaTauri team until the end of next season.

Red Bull adviser, Dr Helmut Marko, has shot down suggestions that Gasly has a clause in his contract that allows him to leave if Alpine come knocking.

“There is no exit clause for Gasly, there was none before the summer break and there will be none after the summer break,” he asserted, quoted by GP Fans.

Should a seat suddenly become available at Red Bull, Tost affirmed that the Austrian side’s only option would be Gasly, so they cannot realistically let him leave.

“It makes no sense for Red Bull to let Pierre go,” he explained.

“If a Red Bull driver fails, there is no other adequate driver who can step in, only Gasly can do that.”

Gasly has scored points on three occasions in an underperforming AlphaTauri car this season.