Pierre Gasly reveals Franz Tost was ‘close to tears’ when told of his departure

Henry Valantine
Pierre Gasly and Franz Tost. Silverstone July 2022.

AlphaTauri driver Pierre Gasly and team principal Franz Tost sit together. Silverstone July 2022.

Pierre Gasly has said he is “really thankful” for Red Bull’s understanding in letting him leave AlphaTauri – and team principal Franz Tost was a touch emotional at the news.

Gasly joined Red Bull’s junior programme in 2014 and has been working under Tost directly since he arrived at Toro Rosso in 2018, with the team principal a steady presence in Gasly’s career to date.

The Frenchman has been the team’s longest-serving driver in its Toro Rosso/AlphaTauri eras and he will depart for a factory drive at Alpine next season after Red Bull allowed him to be released from his 2023 contract with the team.

Gasly’s promotion to Red Bull and subsequent demotion back to their junior team saw him needing to rebuild his reputation in Formula 1, but he has duly done so – winning at Monza in 2020 to take the team’s second victory in Formula 1 after Sebastian Vettel at the same circuit in 2008.

Gasly was approached by Alpine to replace outbound Fernando Alonso at the end of this season and was grateful the teams were able to agree a deal for the move to happen – with his long-time team principal sad at their working relationship ending.

When asked about how Red Bull had reacted when told he was looking to move to Alpine, Gasly told Formula1.com: “I’m really thankful for that. They understood straight away the opportunity it was for me and also my desire to start something new and my will to fight at the front of the grid and they kind of understood that quite quickly.

“Especially Helmut [Marko] and Christian [Horner] as well – I had long conversations with Helmut. I was close to seeing tears in Franz’s eyes once he got the news because we obviously had a very strong relationship and we’ve been working extremely well together.

“So it was something that has been discussed with all parties and it was tougher for some than for some others, but at the end of the day they all understood what an opportunity it was for me and they worked around it to make it up and I’m very thankful for that.”

Dutch driver Nyck de Vries will take Gasly’s place at AlphaTauri next season, coming in for a full season after impressing on debut as a late stand-in at Williams in Italy in September.

Read more: Esteban Ocon v Pierre Gasly: Will they bury the hatchet or re-open old wounds?