Red Bull on Gasly’s future: ‘Pierre is ready to make the next step up now’

Pierre Gasly was dropped by Red Bull mid-way through 2019 after being comprehensively outperformed by Max Verstappen.

Red Bull have said that they feel Pierre Gasly is “ready” to return to the senior team, after a very impressive two-and-a-half years with Scuderia AlphaTauri.

The Frenchman was signed by Red Bull’s main outfit ahead of the 2019 season from Scuderia Toro Rosso (as their sister team was then called), but his career at the Milton Keynes-based squad was short-lived.

Gasly was dropped by Red Bull mid-way through the 2019 season after being thrashed by team-mate Max Verstappen.

He returned to the sister team, with Alex Albon moving the other way.

Gasly rediscovered his form upon changing teams, and he scored a podium at the 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix, before taking his maiden Formula 1 victory at the 2020 Italian Grand Prix.

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2021 was arguably his most impressive season in the pinnacle of motorsport, with him being consistently brilliant and scoring 110 of the 142 points AlphaTauri picked up last year.

Gasly ready for ‘next step up’

Red Bull ultimately decided to retain Sergio Perez as Max Verstappen’s partner for 2022, but Jonathan Wheatley, the team’s sporting director, has admitted that the Frenchman is now worthy of another opportunity with the main outfit.

“We learned a huge amount of things from Alex; we learned how to help support a younger driver who’s having a difficult time,” Wheatley said on the Jack Threlfall Show.

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Pierre Gasly at the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix with AlphaTauri.v1

“[It was the] same with Pierre before that. Look at the confidence Pierre has got again, now he’s back in a slightly smaller team!

“I think, honestly, Pierre is ready to make the next step up now.”

‘Extraordinary’ Albon

Wheatley also praised Albon, who lost his Red Bull seat at the end of 2020 after a lacklustre season.

The Thai-Brit will race with Williams in 2022, after spending a year on Formula 1’s side-lines.

“Alex is an extraordinary young man,” Wheatley said.

“[A] fantastic driver, a seriously, seriously fast driver. But, a bit like Pierre, [it’s] very difficult to come into a team with Max Verstappen as your team-mate.

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“It’s been a bit of a gulf really coming from AlphaTauri or Toro Rosso in the past, into a race team with somebody the likes of Max in it.

“Max had to do with Daniel [Ricciardo], but we can see now that Max is another extraordinary talent.

“But Alex and his dedication and the fact that he never once let his emotions overcome him. I think it just shows a resilience in the guy.”

He stressed that Red Bull want to win both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championship, and said they need both drivers to consistently be delivering results for this to be possible.

Continuing, he said: “I think that what Checo brings with him and brings to the team is this body of experience. It does make us stronger.”

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