It seems the F1 paddock is divided, you’re either shocked by the Lewis Hamilton bombshell news that he’s off to Ferrari next year, or you knew about it.
Pierre Gasly counts himself in the latter category, the Alpine driver revealing he was “aware” of the Briton’s Ferrari talks.
Hamilton shocked many – but seemingly not everyone – in the world of motorsport when he announced last Thursday he had activated an exit clause in his Mercedes contract and would be leaving the team at the end of this season to race for Ferrari.
Pierre Gasly reveals he was ‘aware’ of Lewis Hamilton’s Ferrari talks
The Briton signed a multi-year deal with the Scuderia, one that is said to be worth $446m in its entirety.
But while Hamilton’s current team boss Toto Wolff only learned the news the day before the announcement was made, Gasly reckons it had been a known secret for “quite a long time”.
“I was aware of some talks with Ferrari. Ultimately he is towards the end of his career, so it was either now or never,” the Frenchman told the media at the launch of Alpine’s A524.
“I think it was kept secret for quite a long time. I wish him the best.”
He’s not the only person in the paddock who knew with Zhou Guanyu revealing his ties to Hamilton through Marc Hynes meant he was also in on the secret.
The focus has been largely on Hamilton since Thursday’s shock news, however, spare a thought for Carlos Sainz who has found himself without a race seat for next year’s championship.
Asked about the Spaniard’s situation, Gasly replied: “What’s fair in F1?
“Carlos is a great driver, Lewis is a fantastic driver, the best of all time.
“There was an opportunity on both sides. I think Ferrari and Lewis took it together. It leaves Carlos in a more tricky situation and it’s not easy.”
As for his own future, Gasly is entering the second of his two years with Alpine with the driver revealing talks about extended are already underway.
“It’s an ongoing process and we have had conversations,” he said.
“I think it’s going to start going crazy after a couple of races or maybe it did already.
“Obviously as a driver, I’ve got my team to do this type of job. I’m focusing on what I’ve got to do as a driver because ultimately that’s what I want to do. I want to perform, I want to give my absolute best, I want to do my absolute best for the team.
“500 people worked day and night to get that car as good as they can and then my job is to bring it to further up the grid as I can so it’s what I focus on.”