Pierre Gasly says he is considering all options for his future F1 career plans, after losing his chance of a seat at Red Bull following Sergio Perez’s two-year contract extension.
After a solid debut season at Toro Rosso in 2018, Gasly drove for Red Bull in 2019, but was demoted back to the junior squad halfway through the year after failing to match Max Verstappen’s pace.
Gasly has remained with the team now known as AlphaTauri ever since, and has generally impressed, even scoring a fairytale maiden Grand Prix win at Monza in 2020.
Despite his good form in recent years, Gasly’s hopes of a return to Red Bull for 2023 were dashed by Perez’s new deal.
Gasly reflects on options for future
The Frenchman, whose contract with the Red Bull group expires at the end of
2023, said that although Red Bull would like to keep him in their stable
of drivers, he is not ruling out moving elsewhere.
“At the moment, beyond 2023, I consider all options, as I
don’t have anything beyond that,” Gasly told media, including RacingNews365.com.
“[Red Bull] want to keep me and they want to keep me in the program, but we need to see how to make this work.
“After 10 years of a relationship, [Red Bull] have known me since I was a kid.
“We have a really good relationship with Helmut [Marko, Red Bull’s
special advisor], and I think it’s a matter of finding how to make this
work for all of us.”
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Perez deal was not a “surprise”
Gasly added that Perez’s contract extension came as no surprise to him, and says that the early decision has given him plenty of time to make alternative arrangements.
“It’s always good to have clarity and to know what’s going on,” Gasly continued.
“It’s not like [Perez’s extension] was a surprise, because I’m a very objective person.
“Based on what they expect from the second driver, Perez ticks all the boxes.
“He’s having an amazing season, performing very well, has good experience, and he’s a good fit for the team.”
Gasly keen to “fight at the front”
After finishing a solid ninth in last year’s Drivers’ Championship, Gasly is currently down in 14th place in the 2022 standings, with AlphaTauri having slipped back somewhat.
Despite this, the Frenchman has spoken of his desire to challenge at the front.
“This year is not as competitive as we would have liked,” noted Gasly.
“Last year, we were qualifying P6, lining up [several] times next to Charles [Leclerc], and it’s crazy, in one year, how things can change.
“[Now], Charles is fighting for the championship, and we’re fighting to make it to the top 10, so it’s just a more difficult time.
“Personally, my ambitions are more than just fighting for the top 10. That’s not what I work for every day.
“I want more than that. I want to fight at the front.”