Gasly eyes 2018 seat after media ‘mess’

Date published: April 2 2017

Rising Red Bull star Pierre Gasly has set his sights on joining the Formula 1 grid next year after learning from his mistake in 2016.

Following an interview on Spanish TV channel Movistar at Monza last year, the suggestion was that he would be replacing Danii Kvyat – demoted from Red Bull to junior team Toro Rosso – before the season ended.

Red Bull's motorsport advisor Helmut Marko was surprised to learn of such a claim after being asked about the potential driver change and vowed to contact him immediately to clarify the situation.

Kvyat retained his seat for the 2017 season, forcing Gasly to wait in the wings once again.

"I learned that I need to be more careful with the media," Gasly told Motorsport.com.

"It was quite a tough time for me after this big mess, because I remember at Monza, that weekend, people were telling me I would replace Daniil for the next races.

"For me it was always clear in my mind that the only person in Red Bull who could make this decision is Helmut.

"For me it was quite tough, I remember the situation pretty well: I never said I would replace Daniil, just that I was hoping it was true.

"You always want to be in F1, so I really hoped it was true.

"But I'm not stupid, I will not say something if it was not true, especially knowing how Helmut deals with these kind of things."

"After that Helmut called me to clarify the situation, but then everything came back to normal.

"You always learn from these kinds of experiences. Even though it's not really good when you go through these things, it's useful for
the future."

Gasly also insisted that the incident with the Spanish press has not seen him completely blown his chances of reaching Formula 1 and still has plenty of time on his side.

"At the moment I'm 21, I'm young… Stoffel is 25 now, and he still got his chance in F1," he added.

"Everyone says age is only a number, to get in F1 you have to show you deserve to be there – so the performance should be the only criteria.

"As long as I'm competitive, I think the chances will be there.

"But at the moment the full focus is on making it happen for 2018, and then we will see what happens.

"I've done Formula 4, Formula Renault 2.0, 3.5, GP2, and now Super Formula. So I think I have a pretty good experience of many different cars, and so far I've always finished in the top three in every series I've done.

"It didn't happen this year but hopefully there will be an opportunity next season."