Gasly urged to ‘do a Sainz’ and ditch Red Bull for McLaren

Pierre Gasly is out of contract at AlphaTauri at the end of this year, and Sergio Perez will remain at Red Bull for another two years.

Formula 1 journalist Tom Clarkson does not believe that the Red Bull is serving any purpose to Pierre Gasly at this stage, and has urged him to consider moving to McLaren.

Gasly was dropped by Red Bull midway through 2019 after enduring a horrible half season alongside Max Verstappen, who won two races while the Frenchman managed a best finish of fourth.

He was taken out of the media firing line by being placed back into the junior Toro Rosso team, with whom he managed his maiden podium last that year in Brazil.

Since then, he has added a famous win in Monza and a podium in Baku to his CV, and his consistent performance with the junior side – now named AlphaTauri – have put him back in contention for a drive with a big team.

However, it does not look as though a return to Red Bull is any longer on the cards for the 26-year-old after Sergio Perez extended his stay with the Austrian side until at least the end of 2024.

Gasly’s Red Bull contract runs out next year along with Daniel Ricciardo’s deal at McLaren, but the three-time podium finisher’s contract with AlphaTauri is up at the end of 2022.

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It is likely that, if Gasly cannot find anywhere else next season, he will stay at the Faenza-based squad but, should the struggling Ricciardo leave McLaren at the end of this year, Clarkson suggests that the Frenchman should follow in Carlos Sainz’s footsteps and break free from the Red Bull system by joining McLaren.

“Pierre needs to do a Carlos Sainz,” he told the F1 Nation Podcast.

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“He needs to leave the Red Bull family to progress his Formula One career. And I think for him McLaren would be a very good shout.”

1996 champion Damon Hill was also present, and he neither can see a route back to the Red Bull team for Gasly.

“Well he definitely can’t go up to the big team now, because it’s a lockout unless Max leaves,” explained the former Williams and Jordan driver.

Ricciardo has won eight races throughout his career, and finding the aggressive, cut-throat overtaking form that won him those grand prix would go a long way towards extending his stay at McLaren.

Presenter Natalie Pinkham has formed a close relationship with the Australian throughout his career, and she added she hopes things “click again” for the 32-year-old, who won the Italian Grand Prix last year with the British team.

READ: Red Bull pinpoint key area they can gain on Ferrari

Ricciardo’s arrival at McLaren coincided with Perez’s Red Bull signature, and both of them had to get through challenging 2021 campaigns as they acclimatised themselves to their new teams.

Perez has out-qualified Verstappen twice this year and took pole in Jeddah, before winning the Monaco Grand Prix.

The Mexican is 15 points adrift of the reigning champion in the Drivers’ Standings, but the picture looks a lot more bleak for Ricciardo.

The McLaren driver has been out-qualified in six of the opening seven rounds of the year by team-mate Lando Norris, and he has not scored in any of the last four races while Norris has managed three top 10 appearances as well as a podium in that time.

The fact that Perez has improved so brilliantly at Red Bull in his second year, in Clarkson’s eyes, is not reflecting well on Ricciardo amid his continued struggles at the Woking-based team.

“I don’t think Checo Perez’s performances this year have helped Daniel,” he explained.

“I think he and Daniel had very similar seasons last year, in terms of getting used to their new teams, getting used to their new cars. Checo has then taken a big step forward this year.”

Former Formula 1 driver Marc Surer recently told that he would be “very happy” to see Gasly head to McLaren next season.