Red Bull have reportedly agreed a fee with Alpine for Pierre Gasly, the AlphaTauri driver set to replace Fernando Alonso as Esteban Ocon’s 2023 team-mate.
Gasly has been a Red Bull-backed driver since 2014 and was expected to remain with the junior team through to the end of next year’s championship.
However, Sebastian Vettel’s decision to quit Formula 1 at the end of this season put into play several driver moves that could ultimately see Gasly take the Alpine race seat.
While initially Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko insisted there was not a clause in Gasly’s contract that would allow him to leave, it seems the team are now open to the idea but at a price.
According to The Race, Alpine and Red Bull have agreed a fee for the 26-year-old, although that number is not known.
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner was asked about the reports, the Briton conceding Red Bull are looking at all possibilities when it comes to their drivers.
“The market is quite fluid at the moment,” he told Sky F1.
“For us, obviously Pierre is still a driver under contract with Red Bull until the end of next season. We also have a contract with Checo (Sergio Perez) for the next two years and Max (Verstappen) has a long-term contract.
“We have to consider all the possibilities, but first and foremost we will have to see what the CRB (Contract Recognition Board) say (about Oscar Piastri’s situation). Everything else is pure speculation.”
"I mean, I'm still working on the final details of the contract…"
— PlanetF1 (@Planet_F1) September 1, 2022
With Fernando Alonso taking Vettel’s Aston Martin seat, Alpine announced the Australian Formula 2 champion as his replacement only for Piastri to make it clear he would not be driving for Alpine next season.
Instead, he has signed with McLaren, although the team have yet to actually say so, only telling the media they have “multiple options” for next season.
It is being reported that even if Alpine win the CRB hearing they no longer want to field Piastri and would hand him over to McLaren for compensation. Money that would then be paid to Red Bull for Gasly.
Gasly was caught on camera talking to his fellow drivers about “working on the final details of the contract” but insisted that had nothing to do with F1.
As for who would replace the Frenchman as Yuki Tsunoda’s 2023 team-mate, reports claim Marko is keen on giving the seat to Haas driver Mick Schumacher, son of seven-time former World Champion Michael Schumacher and who is out of contract at the end of this season.
The other option is IndyCar driver Colton Herta, although that would depend on the FIA allowing him to race given the superlicence points requirements.