Pierre Gasly says his time at Red Bull “was just never going to work” because he wasn’t supported and treated in the same way as other drivers in the senior team.
Red Bull promoted Gasly to replace Daniel Ricciardo in 2019, but after 12 rounds and a best finish of fourth he was replaced by Alex Albon during the summer break. As part of an emotional tribute to his friend Anthoine Hubert on The Players’ Tribune, Gasly spoke about his short stint at Red Bull before getting demoted back to Toro Rosso, and says he feels like he wasn’t being allowed to succeed.
“From the moment I made my first mistake in a car, I felt like people there slowly began to turn on me,” Gasly said. “I’d had a crash in winter testing, and from that moment on the season never really got going. Then I had a tough first two races with Red Bull and the media just ate me up. Anything I said in the press was twisted into an excuse for my form, and nobody really stuck up for me.
“The car wasn’t perfect, and I was doing my best to try to improve and learn each week, but like… here’s what I’ll say about it: It was a difficult time for me at Red Bull because I didn’t feel like I was really supported and treated the same way as others there have been. And for me… that’s something that I just can’t accept. I was working my ass off every day, trying to get results for the team, but I was not being given all the tools I needed to succeed. I would try to offer solutions, but my voice wasn’t heard, or it would take weeks to see changes.
“For whatever reason, I was never going to be a fit in that seat — it was just never going to work.”
After Hubert was killed at Spa in 2019, Gasly says it took him a full year to be able to start to find himself again, and just a week after returning to the spot Hubert was killed, Gasly secured an emotional and dramatic win at Monza.
“When I heard the French anthem, I just tried to soak it all in,” he said. “I told myself that you only get the first win once.
“And when it ended, I couldn’t leave. I felt like I was tied to the podium. In a way, with no fans there, it felt sort of right. At times the journey to that point had been lonely. Standing up there, on my own, I thought of all the mechanics, the engineers, all the men and women at AlphaTauri who work behind the scenes to make a moment like that possible.
“And then I thought of the boy in the orange helmet (Hubert). I felt him there. I knew he was watching. His dreams were my dreams. My dreams were his dreams. And that moment was our moment.”