Pierre Gasly accepts Sergio Perez’s re-signing was “logical” for Red Bull, even though it means that door is firmly shut for the Frenchman.
Red Bull announced after Perez’s Monaco Grand Prix win that he had signed a two-year extension that would keep him at the team through to the end of the 2024 season.
He will continue as Max Verstappen’s team-mate with the reigning World Champion holding a long-term contract, one that keeps him at the team until 2028.
But while Red Bull’s line-up is confirmed, Gasly’s future is uncertain.
The 2020 Italian Grand Prix winner had hoped he would be making a return to Red Bull either next season or the year after, but with Perez’s announcement he is now free to speak with rival teams about a 2024 drive.
He insists he has no hard feelings towards Perez.
“To me, it’s logical,” he said, quoted by Motorsport.com. “It’s not like it was a surprise because I’m a very objective person. And based on what they expect from the second driver, Perez ticks all the boxes.
“He is doing an amazing season. He’s performing very well this season. He’s fast, some backing financially, good experience and he’s a good fit for the team.
“So it’s not like it was a surprise at all for me.
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“But obviously, on the other side, the impact it has on my career and with the ambitions I have is obviously affected.
“So that’s what we are discussing at the moment with Helmut, to obviously find what’s best for all of us, and how do we go forward from there.”
Gasly has already been linked to Daniel Ricciardo’s McLaren seat for the 2024 season while there could also be a chance for him at Mercedes should Lewis Hamilton opt to retire.
For 2023, though, he will remain an AlphaTauri driver.
“I think it’s good,” he said. “It’s always good to have clarity and to know what’s going on.
“You don’t want to end up in a situation where in November or December, you then know things are happening. So on that side, it’s better.”
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner explained why he opted for Perez over Gasly.
“We are in the fortunate position, through the ownership of Red Bull effectively having two grand prix teams, we’ve been able to invest in young talent and bring them up and get drivers like Max [Verstappen], Sebastian [Vettel], Daniel [Ricciardo] and Pierre these opportunities,” Horner told Sky F1.
“It was obviously a no-brainer for us and totally deserving of Checo to retain that seat. For Pierre, he remains under contract to Red Bull.
“There’s another year to run on that contract. The timing wasn’t right to bring him back into Red Bull Racing.
“It shows we are not afraid to step out of the scheme. If a driver within the scheme…we don’t feel there’s one really [ready] for Red Bull Racing. I think the pairing we have, we are happy with.”