Pierre Gasly played down the viral video regarding his F1 future amid Alpine rumours as Esteban Ocon puts across a case for Mick Schumacher.
Ahead of F1 Dutch GP weekend, a behind the scenes video from Ferrari caught AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly speak about working the details of his contract which many interpreted as the one he is discussing with Alpine for 2023 to replace Fernando Alonso.
Ever since his departure and the situation with Oscar Piastri, Alpine has been on the lookout for a driver with the likes of Daniel Ricciardo and even Gasly in the shopping list. For the latter, Red Bull has agree to release him which is seemingly being worked upon.
For now, Gasly has played down the viral video noting that it wasn’t anything related to car and or F1. The video has Mercedes’ George Russell talking about marraige. “If you guys would have any idea of the subject we were talking about, you’ll probably laugh,” he said. “I can guarantee you, it was nothing related to Formula 1.
“So you guys can figure out it wasn’t car-related. It is impressive how a topic can be deviated from its origin,” summed up Gasly, who then continued on to state that he contracted to AlphaTauri for 2023 at the moment, but crucially added that ‘for now’ nothing has changed.
“For next year, currently, I’m contracted for AlphaTauri,” said Gasly. Everybody is aware of my contract situation. For now, nothing has changed. I’m with AlphaTauri, giving my best to AlphaTauri. They gave me my first seat in Formula 1, they gave me my first victory. I don’t feel like commenting anything, and as long as I’ll drive for this team, I will always give my 110%.”
Team boss Franz Tost concurred with Gasly about the current status but Red Bull chief Christian Horner and advisor Helmut Marko did admit about the possibility of giving up the Frenchman to Alpine, amid their approach to get the services of IndyCar driver Colton Herta.
Meanwhile, on Alpine side, there’s silence more or less about the candidates for the F1 seat but Ocon put Schumacher’s name in the list. The two are close friends and the Frenchman reckons they will work well together but he added that it is on the team to decide eventually.
“There’s a lot of talks going on at the moment since the departure of Fernando,” said Ocon. “I’m sure whoever will be on my side, the team will take the right decisions. People know that my choice, if I had anything to say, would be Mick, if he doesn’t have anything lined up next year, but on my side, whoever will be… I will be focused on my job, developing the car, trying to pull the team forward and that’s what I want to do.
“If you ask why Mick? He is a good friend of mine, first of all, so if I can help on that, that’s no problem but I think he has shown talents in the junior categories as well. He’s been very fast, you know. Sometimes in Formula 1 it’s not easy to perform with a car that’s a bit on the back foot.
“I’ve had that when I started in F1 and I’m sure you know he’s a great guy, and he could perform very well, if he joined a competitive car and at the moment the Alpine is competitive. So, you know, that’s just my words, there’s going to be nothing taken with the team. I don’t have the decision to take, but the team knows that this will be my preference,” summed up Ocon.
While declaring his preference, Ocon was also asked about Gasly as his teammate, with whom he has had rough relation since the karting days. It has certainly improved as they both are in F1, but it is mostly cordial more than anything.
“Again, I mean, whoever will be on my side, I think the important thing for me is to, you know, guide the team in the best way possible, develop the car as best as we can,” said Ocon. “And yeah, to have respect, you know, between both drivers and a good atmosphere. I think that’s important. With Pierre, we have a good relationship.
“There is no problem. We have respect between each other. And yeah, on my side, whoever will be on my side, I’m sure the team will do the best choice possible and yeah, we will be able to race one,” summed up Ocon.
For Schumacher though, everything is unclear at the moment. In the lead-up to Dutch GP, there were reports that his time with Ferrari is coming to an end but when asked about it, the German refused to discuss the topic and left it as confidential.
Whether he stays at Haas or not is also not clear at the moment, with the American team having the full liberty to decide with ample amount of time remaining. Schumacher did not wish to talk about his chances at Alpine as well.
“I think in that sense, what has been discussed behind the scenes between us is something that I would rather keep between us and not speak publicly about,” said Schumacher, when asked about his Ferrari deal. “That’s a contractual matter, which I can’t go into detail with.”
Here’s Esteban Ocon on Dutch GP
Here’s AlphaTauri being disappointed about the situation