Red Bull has confirmed that Pierre Gasly will be promoted from Toro Rosso in place of Daniel Ricciardo at the end of this season.
Ricciardo shocked Red Bull by choosing to leave the team despite having agreed a new contract in principle, instead opting to join Renault from 2019 onward. Gasly has impressed in his first full season in Formula 1 — finishing fourth in Bahrain, sixth in Hungary and seventh in Monaco — and with Carlos Sainz joining McLaren it has now been confirmed the Frenchman will partner Max Verstappen next year.
“To be awarded a drive at Aston Martin Red Bull Racing from 2019 is a dream come true for me,” Gasly said. “I’m so excited to be joining this top team. It has been my goal to race for this team since I joined the Red Bull Junior Driver Programme in 2013, and this incredible opportunity is another step forward in my ambition to win Grands Prix and compete for World Championships.
“Red Bull has always looked to fight for championships or victories and that’s what I want. I’m a really competitive guy and when I do something it’s always to fight for the best and top positions.
“As hugely exciting a moment as this is, I am fully aware of the challenge this special opportunity offers me and the expectations that faces any driver at Aston Martin Red Bull Racing. I’m looking forward to rewarding the faith that Dietrich Mateschitz, Christian Horner and Dr Helmut Marko have placed in me.
“The first phase of that is to keep pushing for ultimate performance and the best results in 2018 that I can achieve for my team, Scuderia Toro Rosso. I wish to thank Franz Tost and everyone at Toro Rosso and the factory in Faenza for giving me the golden opportunity of a drive in Formula 1 and their amazing commitment and support, which I know will continue for the rest of this season. My focus now is to do everything I can to give them a season to celebrate.”
Team principal Christian Horner describes Gasly as one of the brightest young talents in racing after his standout results this year.
“Since Pierre first stepped into a Formula 1 seat with Scuderia Toro Rosso less than a year ago he has proved the undoubted talent that Red Bull has nurtured since his early career,” Horner said.
“His stellar performances this year at the Honda-powered team, in only his first full season in Formula 1, have only enhanced his reputation as one of the most exciting young drivers in motorsport and we look forward to Pierre bringing his speed, skill and attitude to the team in 2019.
“While our immediate focus remains fully on achieving our best result in the 2018 World Championship, we look forward to competing in 2019 with Max and Pierre at the wheel of Aston Martin Red Bull Racing.”