Helmut Marko is adamant there is no exit clause that will allow Pierre Gasly to take Fernando Alonso’s Alpine race seat, or any other seat for that matter.
He will be an AlphaTauri driver next season.
Alpine are looking at their options for next season after losing not one but two drivers in the space of 48 hours.
Alonso surprised everyone in the paddock, but none more than Alpine, when he announced last Monday morning that he is off to Aston Martin in a multi-year deal to replace Sebastian Vettel.
A day later Alpine said reserve driver Oscar Piastri would take the Spaniard’s seat only for the Australian to put out a statement saying he “will not be driving for Alpine next year”.
Alpine are adamant he is their driver, the team saying they have a legal and binding contract, but it has been reported that so too do McLaren and it now up to F1’s contract recognition board to resolve the matter.
In the meantime Alpine are exploring their options should they lose the driver with a report claiming they have their eye on AlphaTauri’s Gasly.
The report claims he has an exit clause should a team that is better placed in the rankings come call.
Marko has rubbished this.
The Red Bull motorsport advisor told Sport1: “There is no exit clause for Gasly, there was none before the summer break and there will be none after the summer break.”
AlphaTauri team boss Franz Tost is also insisting that the Frenchman remains an AT driver through to the very end of his contract, which expires at the end of next season.
“It makes no sense for Red Bull to let Pierre go,” he told the German publication. “If a Red Bull driver fails, there is no other adequate driver who can step in. Only Gasly can do that.”
Red Bull closed the door on a promotion for Gasly when they announced after Monaco that Sergio Perez would be staying on as Max Verstappen’s team-mate, the Mexican driver signing a new two-year deal.
But despite closing the door, Marko is full of praise for the 26-year-old.
“Pierre is very talented,” he said. “He thinks everything through carefully and is very focused. With the right car, he can be at the forefront. That is our job now.”
This year’s results haven’t gone Gasly’s way, the driver P13 in the standings with just 16 points whereas last year he managed 110.