Mark Webber tips Pierre Gasly to ’flourish’ in Alpine environment

Jamie Woodhouse
Pierre Gasly cycling by the Alpine motorhome. Zandvoort, September 2022.

AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly cycles his bike past the Alpine motorhome. Zandvoort, September 2022.

Former Red Bull driver Mark Webber believes Pierre Gasly can thrive when he leaves the fold to join Alpine from 2023.

Gasly has been associated with the Red Bull programme since joining Formula 1, first appearing in 2017 with their junior team Toro Rosso.

His journey since has seen him make a brief switch to Red Bull, demoted back to Toro Rosso and now having establised himself as the experienced head driver of their rebranded AlphaTauri team.

This chapter of his career comes to a close at the end of the 2022 season, after which Gasly will join Alpine to partner Esteban Ocon, creating an all-French team.

So as Gasly readies himself to continue in Formula 1 without Red Bull, Webber, who raced for the team from 2007-2013, believes the Frenchman can “flourish” at Alpine.

“I like Pierre, he’s a good young lad,” Webber told Channel 4. “He’s been at Red Bull for a long time, he could flourish in a new environment.

“Obviously this is a French brand and Pierre locally will be great for them. So I think he could be a cracking little signing.”

That Alpine vacancy is filled, but a few line-ups are still to be decided for 2023, Williams with a seat available and potentially Haas too.

Mark Webber speaking into a microphone. Bahrain, March 2022.
Mark Webber working as a pundit for Channel 4. Bahrain, March 2022.

Webber was asked who he feels will get the nod to race for his former team Williams, the Australian selecting their Formula 2 driver Logan Sargeant as his pick.

Sargeant, the 21-year-old American racer, is P3 in the Formula 2 standings heading into the final round in Abu Dhabi, needing to finish the championship in the top five if he is to qualify for a Super Licence.

“I think Logan Sargeant,” Webber replied when asked who he feels will get the Williams drive. “He’s in Formula 2 this year, he might need a bit of introducing to our fans at home.

“In general, I think he’s the favourite – American, Liberty [Media, F1’s owner] they are pretty keen on him. But there’s some Super Licence challenges around him in terms of points, championship position, in Abu Dhabi.”

One driver who has now said his chances of being on the grid in 2023 are over is Daniel Ricciardo, who is being replaced by Webber’s client Oscar Piastri at McLaren next season, this one an all-Aussie affair.

Ricciardo has been strongly linked with becoming reserve driver for Mercedes, Webber believing that could be of interest to Ricciardo.

“A Merc reserve driver role, who knows how long Lewis [Hamilton] will go on for, so Daniel of course has got decisions [to make],” said Webber.

“And Merc, a pretty handy operation, so it’s something he might consider.”

Read more: Lewis Hamilton tells Toto Wolff he has ‘another five years’ in F1