Franz Tost reveals why Red Bull released Pierre Gasly

Pierre Gasly joined the Red Bull family as a Junior driver in 2014, following a move to the Formula Renault 3.5 Series.

AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost has revealed that Red Bull had to release Pierre Gasly from his 2023 contract due to fears that he wouldn’t get a seat amongst the Austrians family in 2024, with the “risk” of keeping him at the Faenza-based team following Alpine’s interest being “far too great”.

Gasly, of course, did sign a contract extension to remain at AlphaTauri for the 2023 season, in what would’ve been his sixth season with the Italians.

However, after Oscar Piastri rejected Fernando Alonso’s vacant seat, Alpine approached Red Bull to see if they’d release Gasly from their family, something they gracefully did.

In doing so, Red Bull have potentially saved the Frenchman’s F1 career, given that he wasn’t guaranteed a place at AlphaTauri in 2024.

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Given that it was whilst driving for Red Bull in 2019 that Gasly struggled so badly, it’s somewhat fitting that the Austrians have recognised that it’s time to let the French driver go, given that he has done wonders for their sister side.

After being dumped back to AlphaTauri following half a season at Red Bull, Gasly went on to prove to the Milton Keynes-based outfit exactly what he’s capable of, by claiming the Italians first victory since the 2008 Italian Grand Prix.

Gasly always expressed his intent on earning his seat at Red Bull back; however, when Alpine came calling, both parties accepted that Gasly would never race for the main Red Bull side again.

Allowing him to leave gives him somewhat of a fresh start as well, outside of the Red Bull family, which he joined in 2014.

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By switching to Alpine, Gasly’s F1 career is also secure for at least a few more years, realistically, something it wasn’t at AlphaTauri.

“This was the reason why Red Bull decided to release him from the contract,” Tost told The Race at the end of 2022.

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“Red Bull decided not to take him. And Pierre wanted to go to another team. Because of all these changes with [Sebastian] Vettel stopping, [Fernando] Alonso going to Aston Martin, the seat at Alpine was free.

“Red Bull did something very fair to let him go to Alpine. This was clear for me, because otherwise the risk would have been far too great that he doesn’t have a seat for 2024. Then all the cockpits are full.

“It’s not an easy one [to accept Gasly’s exit]. But in the end I think it’s a fair decision.”