Ex-Formula 1 driver turned pundit, Karun Chandhok, thinks Pierre Gasly needs to use the 2021 season to put himself in the shop window.
Gasly was chosen as the driver to replace the Renault-bound Daniel Ricciardo at Red Bull, but his partnership with Max Verstappen lasted just 12 races before Red Bull demoted him back to AlphaTauri (then known as Toro Rosso) for the remaining nine events of the 2019 season.
The Frenchman, much like his now former team-mate Daniil Kvyat, came back strong with the Red Bull sister team and was capped in wonderful style during the 2020 season with a shock win at the Italian Grand Prix.
That victory increased calls for Gasly to be reconsidered again by Red Bull for a seat with the senior team, replacing Alex Albon who has experienced the same struggles that Gasly himself is all too familiar with.
However, despite his strong performances, Red Bull has consistently stated that they are happy with where Gasly is and gave no indication that he was even on the shortlist again for the 2021 campaign.
That has prompted Chandhok, who named Gasly number six on his top 10 drivers of the 2020 season, to state that Gasly should probably start seeing if there are opportunities to be had away from the Red Bull organisation.
“Watching Pierre win in Monza was probably my highlight of this season,” Chandhok told Sky Sports F1.
“He is a lovely guy who has shown incredible mental strength after bouncing back from a very difficult 2019 where not only did his career look in tatters but he also lost his best friend in Anthoine Hubert.
“While Monza was obviously a one off, Pierre has well and truly beaten Daniil Kvyat and driven some great races, often with unconventional strategies, to rebuild his reputation.
“I cannot see him getting back to the main Red Bull team so I think he needs to use 2021 to build on the foundations of this year and launch himself into the driver market outside the Red Bull family.”
There was a small stage during the 2020 campaign in where Gasly was rumoured to be of interest to Renault, who will be rebranding as Alpine from next season.
Whether those links resurface in 2021 remains to be seen, but Gasly needs to look no further than Carlos Sainz as someone who can show there is Formula 1 life away from Red Bull if career growth is being stunted.
Red Bull are due to announce their driver decision (Alex Albon or Sergio Perez) for 2021 on Friday, December 18.