Pierre Gasly says he is working with Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko on his future as the team wants to keep him in its program despite retaining Sergio Perez.
Red Bull Racing announced last month Perez has signed a new two-year deal that keeps him with the team until the end of the 2024 season, locking in its line-up at the senior team. Despite Marko suggesting Gasly would be able to join another team if Red Bull couldn’t promote him after this season, the Frenchman says he understands why Perez was rewarded for recent performances and that a solution is being worked on, hinting that he isn’t free to leave yet.
“What I can tell you is to me it is logical,” Gasly said. “It is not like it was a surprise, because I’m a very objective person and based on what they expect from a second driver Perez ticks all the boxes. He is doing an amazing season, performing very well this season, fast, has some backing financially, good experience, and is a good fit for the team.
“Obviously on the other side, the impact it has on my career and with the ambitions I have is obviously affected. so that’s what we’re discussing at the moment with Helmut, to decide what’s best for all of us, and how do we go forward from there.”
Gasly did not want to be drawn on whether he could be placed at another team by Red Bull, but suggests he only has the ability to race completely outside the setup after next season.
“I think it’s quite clear my contract situation until next year and for now it’s something that has to be discussed with Red Bull. At the moment I don’t want to elaborate.
“I don’t know if we could call that a strong position but at the moment for sure beyond 2023 I consider all options — I don’t have anything beyond that, so we’ll see at the time. But it’s things we need to discuss with Helmut; they want to keep me in the program, but as I said we need to see how to make this work and it’s just normal conversations that are ongoing.”
With the Perez confirmation coming early in the season, Gasly says it is at least a positive that he knows where he stands regarding the Red Bull seat, with plenty of time to discuss his next move.
“It’s always good to have clarity and to know what’s going on — you don’t want to end up in a situation where in November or December things are happening and on that side it is better.
“Obviously I’m committed to AlphaTauri right now and will always give my best to this team, even if we are going through harder times because this year is not as competitive as we would have liked — not as competitive as last year, which is obviously not as exciting.
“Last year we were qualifying P6 and lining up many times next to Charles (Leclerc) and it’s crazy how in one year how things can change. Charles is fighting for the championship and we’re fighting barely to make it to the top 10.
“It’s a more difficult time but also I like the challenge of trying to push the team forward. Personally, obviously my ambitions are more than just fighting for top 10s. That’s not what I work for every day — I want to fight at the front — but priority number one is to perform for AlphaTauri and to discuss with Helmut on what’s best for all of us.
“After 10 years of relationship, they’ve known me since I was a kid — they know me exactly. We have a really good relationship with Helmut and it’s a matter of finding how to make this work for all of us.”