Pierre Gasly relishing the opportunity to decide his own F1 future

Michelle Foster
Pierre Gasly puts his helmet on. Baku June 2022.

AlphaTauri driver Pierre Gasly attaches his helmet strap as he prepares to get in the car. Baku June 2022.

Pierre Gasly is in no hurry to talk with rival teams, or even AlphaTauri, about his future as he contemplates leaving the Red Bull family after next year’s championship.

Gasly arrived on the Formula 1 grid with Red Bull backing him, the Frenchman starting out at the junior team before spending 12 races with Red Bull after which he was demoted back to AlphaTauri.

It is with the latter that he’s had his biggest successes with three podiums including an emotional victory at the 2020 Italian Grand Prix.

But at the end of next season, after six years on the grid all with Red Bull in some variation, Gasly will be a free agent.

That, though, doesn’t mean he will definitely be leaving the Red Bull family, although the senior team’s door is shut until the end of 2024.

“I think you’ve got to be open,” he said in an interview with Motorsport.com about his future.

“There’s got to be a conversation, obviously with Red Bull, and they’ll be the first ones to know what’s the situation.

“But of course, it’s also the first time in my career that I actually get the options of deciding what’s going to happen.

“It’s still early, we’re still mid-2022. At the right moment, we’ll assess what are the best options for the future.”

He is, however, dreaming of being in a position where he can fight for race wins and World titles.

Team leader at AlphaTauri, Gasly has impressed his bosses so much so that Helmut Marko has been quick to shut the door on any suggestions that Gasly could even swap teams next season.

He wants Gasly with the pace and experience he brings to AlphaTauri.

The 26-year-old believes his time on the grid has paid off, making him a “more complete” driver.

Pierre Gasly climbs into his AlphaTauri AT03, team name and branding on the rear wing. Monaco May 2022

“I think it’s a sport where, personally, I feel way more complete than I was when I arrived in the sport, because it’s a complex sport,” Gasly said.

“It’s not only about driving. It’s about driving the team in the direction you want, it’s about getting the people working together towards the same goal, motivating everyone because it’s tough.

“You see people mentally are drained after a couple of races from all the travelling, all the work they are doing.

“Being a leader, it’s not only about driving and being fast on the race track. It’s about leading the team and bringing that energy, the mentality and the work ethic that you set to yourself to the rest of your crew to extract the best of the package that you’ve got. That’s what I’m trying to do.

“At the end of the day, the difference is I want to be in a place that can give me the opportunity to be competitive.

“That’s really what is most important for me, to have a package that will allow me to display my skills and fight for the top, because that’s my only motivation in this sport, is to fight for the win, for the podiums, and be at the front of the grid.”