Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has no immediate plans to discuss a future seat with Pierre Gasly as the Frenchman looks to tie up his future beyond the end of next year.
Gasly has impressed immensely since his return to Red Bull’s junior team AlphaTauri, and his P5 last weekend in Baku was the epitome of the splendid talent that so obviously existed all along, but he just could not find during his half season with Red Bull in 2019.
The 26-year-old’s deal with AlphaTauri ends this year, but this is sure to be extended to next year if he cannot make alternative arrangements for 2023, at the end of which his Red Bull deal is up.
He was hoping to make it back to the main fold by then, but Sergio Perez, who has now won two races with the Austrian side and stood on the podium 10 times, has seen his deal renewed until the end of 2024.
Rumours seem to be perennially swarming around Sir Lewis Hamilton’s career as, at 37 years of age, he is entering the final few seasons of an illustrious tenure in the pinnacle of motorsport that has seen him become the most successful driver of all time.
Whether or not that seat will become available by the time Gasly’s Red Bull contract is up is not something Wolff is particularly interested in discussing right now.
“No door is open for us. We have one strength – it’s the two guys [Hamilton and George Russell] – and if I looked at the driver market and what’s happening there, it would just distract me,” he affirmed.
“Are we starting talking 2024 contracts? In June 2022?
“No, we are in a happy place with Lewis. There is no doubt that we are embarking the season and the next one in a good place but it’s too early to discuss 2024.
“But having said that, I couldn’t wish for a better driver pairing.”
Russell and Hamilton have scored four podiums between them this year in a misbehaving Mercedes car that has been suffering from “porpoising” and bouncing.
The FIA have introduced a new directive in Canada this weekend that no team is permitted to go over a bouncing threshold determined by the governing body.
If a team’s oscillating movements ae greater than the allocated allowance during the third and final practice session, then that team will not be allowed to take part in qualifying or the race.