The French driver, who is aiming much higher than his current AlphaTauri team, is seeing the doors of the big teams closing.
The announcement did not surprise Pierre Gasly. The French pilot did not fall out of his chair when he learned that Red Bull Racing has extended the contract of Sergio Perez, who will remain Max Verstappen’s teammate until 2024.
” It makes sense and is not a surprise, reacted Gasly, handsome player. If you look at what a second driver has to deliver, Pérez ticks all the boxes. He’s been performing well this season, he’s fast, has financial backing, a lot of experience and gives good feedback to the team. »
Stuck at AlphaTauri?
For Gasly, however, this is bad news. Successful at the wheel of his AlphaTauri, the subsidiary team of Red Bull, the Norman can no longer hope to make his return alongside Verstappen, he who has nevertheless grown up since his first (failed) stint as a teammate of the Dutchman, in 2019.
“This decision has an impact on my career and my ambitions, recognizes Gasly. So now we have to see how to proceed. My ambitions go beyond just fighting for a place in the top 10, I want more than that. Over the years, I have proven what I am capable of. I showed last year, when the car was more competitive, what I could do in the middle of the field. Not just last year, 2020 and 2019 as well. »
In short, Gasly is aiming higher, but he finds himself faced with two problems: he is under contract with Red Bull until 2023, and places in the top teams are becoming increasingly rare. The Frenchman could therefore stay at AlphaTauri for another year and a half, driving a car that seems less competitive than in previous years.
Elsewhere, it’s blocked
Asked about the possibility of being “loaned” by Red Bull to another team, as Alexander Albon may be this season at Williams, Gasly said he could be in favor of it. But to go where? For 2023, the four top teams (Ferrari, Red Bull, Mercedes, McLaren) are already complete. There would be a place at Alpine, in place of Fernando Alonso, but otherwise, if it is to go to Haas or Aston-Martin, the progression is not obvious for Gasly.
This is what Helmut Marko hinted at earlier this week. “We just have to wait and see what happens with Gasly after 2023, admitted the special adviser to the Red Bull group for matters relating to motorsport. What would be the alternative in the event of early departure? I don’t think there is currently an alternative for him that would be significantly better than AlphaTauri. » Is Gasly wasting his time?
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