Mark Webber delivers verdict on Pierre Gasly’s Alpine switch

Pierre Gasly has been tipped to thrive at Alpine by former Red Bull racer Mark Webber

Pierre Gasly has finally left the Red Bull programme for the first time in his Formula 1 career since getting his first seat in 2017.

The Frenchman will join Alpine for 2023 to complete an all-French driver line-up alongside the hero of Hungary, Esteban Ocon.

Gasly always seemed destined to reach the pinnacle of the Red Bull system, however, he became somewhat of a ‘yo-yo’ driver, seemingly too good for midtable AlphaTauri but not deemed good enough for Red Bull.

Gasly did get his chance to race for the senior team in 2019, but his performances and suggested inability to be compared to Red Bull superstar Max Verstappen saw him demoted back to Toro Rosso as early as the summer break.

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With it seeming unlikely that he would get that chance at Red Bull again, he has taken the gamble on a switch to Alpine, a decision which former Red Bull driver Mark Webber thinks could pay dividends.

“I like Pierre, he’s a good young lad,” said the Australian.

“He’s been at Red Bull for a long time, he could flourish in a new environment,” he added.

Webber can see Alpine becoming more like home for Gasly with the environment potentially being one that could get the best out of the 26-year-old.  

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“Obviously this is a French brand and Pierre locally will be great for them. So I think he could be a cracking little signing,” Webber continued.

Drivers feeling at home at a team is a major contributor to success, with many teams now following the route of finding homegrown talent.

Mercedes for example decided to go for an all British line-up in 2022 consisting of George Russell and Lewis Hamilton, a pairing that has so far proved successful despite the shortcomings of the car itself.

Another team that might go down this route is Haas, with American F2 driver Logan Sargeant rumoured to be of interest to the American-owned team.

Webber, however, tips Sargeant to take Nicholas Latifi’s vacant Williams seat instead, but does put nationality down as one of the reasons he can see this happening.

READ: These two drivers are at risk of a race ban in 2022

“In general, I think he’s the favourite,” claimed Webber.

“American, Liberty [Media], they are pretty keen on him.”

With Gasly’s seat being taken by Nyck de Vries, who impressed in his Monza cameo, we enter the final four rounds of the season with only a Haas and Williams seat to fill for a complete 2023 line-up.