Pierre Gasly believes his former Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen is one of, if not the best driver on the F1 grid.
Verstappen along with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc are the two young stars most widely tipped to knock Lewis Hamilton off the Formula 1 summit, and both have their sights on doing so as early as this year.
And it would appear Gasly shares that belief in Verstappen with the pair having battled at karting level long before they ended up together at Red Bull.
Speaking to Auto Bild, he said: “He is one of the most talented, if not the best, driver in the field.
“He has shown more than once that he can do things that many others are unable to do. I am sure he will become world champion one day. I have only two years of Formula 1 experience, but I have fought him on the kart more than once.
“It is up to me to prove that I can continue to fight with him in the future – also for championships. ”
While refusing to directly say it, Pierre Gasly suggested he would be open to a Red Bull return in the future.
The Frenchman was promoted from Toro Rosso to Red Bull for the start of the 2019 season, but a wretched first half of that campaign led to him being demoted back to Toro Rosso over the summer break.
His form would improve rapidly after that and Gasly is now looking forward to the season ahead with the rebranded AlphaTauri team.
One day Gasly does want to return to machinery which could take him to race victories, and the 24-year-old says Red Bull are a team that can give him such a car.
Speaking about a potential Red Bull return he said: “It’s too early to talk about it, but of course I want to drive in the fastest car available.
“My personal goal is to fight for victories and championships in the future and obviously Red Bull would be able to provide me with a car.
“But my head and my energy are currently full at Alpha Tauri. We have a lot of tasks ahead of us.”