Christian Horner says Pierre Gasly knows it well why he did not get the Red Bull Racing F1 seat as Sergio Perez keeps his options open.
With Alfa Romeo Racing and Williams confirming their 2021 F1 line-up, the grid is near complete with only Haas (two seats), Red Bull (one) and AlphaTauri (one) remaining now to fix up their seats to end the silly season drama and speculation.
While Haas is seemingly poised to have Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin, AlphaTauri is looking at their third F2 rival, Yuki Tsunoda. For Red Bull, though, it is either Alexander Albon or off-programme drivers Nico Hulkenberg and or Perez.
Red Bull has never picked up anyone outside their programme but with limited drivers, they may have to break their bond and go for either Hulkenberg and or Perez. Over the week, they confirmed Gasly with AlphaTauri, who was hoping for another senior team call-up.
Speaking to media including Motorsport Network, Racefans.net, BBC, AMuS, F1 Website and more, Gasly raised the point of Red Bull not being clear about his no push back into the senior outfit, which Horner quickly put down, stating that they told him why was that.
“I’m not disappointed, I will say I’m just surprised,” said Gasly, noting that it was made clear that he was not in the reckoning for Red Bull. “In 14 years, Seb won a race with Toro Rosso, I’m the only other driver who won race. Seb got promoted to Red Bull and won four titles with the team. So I’m just surprised I was not really considered.
“I’ve had two podiums with Toro Rosso, I think this season is going alright and on my side the only thing I can do is try and put some strong performances to give to me opportunities in the future. It’s the only thing I can do. Everything is sorted. I don’t really want to think about this any more – I need to perform as much as I can for AlphaTauri – I’m happy to be here and I’m just focused on this weekend and trying to get the best result I can here.
“They [Red Bull bosses Horner and Helmut Marko] have their strategy, it’s down to the them. I think if you want a better answer it’s better to ask them straight away. On my side I think it’s been made clear to me I will continue already since quite a while with this team and as I say I’m not disappointed. I’m performing at a great level.
“I’m able to show my potential, I’m able to show my speed, my skills. As I say I’m 24 years old, obviously my goal in F1 is to fight at the top and fight for the championship. But at the moment I just need to perform and do the best job I can in the team I am. I’m not disappointed, I’m really happy to continue with AlphaTauri for another year and I’ll keep doing my best for this team,” summed up Gasly.
Later in the press conference when Horner was asked about it, the Brit quickly doused that notion, stating that the Frenchman was told about the matter. He reiterated the situation with AlphaTauri, which is now a sister team and that they need a leading F1 driver there, who can consistently deliver those results and also help the outfit grow.
“It’s been made very clear to Gasly why Red Bull did not recall him,” said Horner. “He’s a key part of the AlphaTauri team. AlphaTauri has got different aspirations than that of Toro Rosso. It’s not just purely a junior team it’s more a sister team, as I’ve previously stated. We were very pleased for Pierre that he’s doing a great job in that environment.
“He’s happy in that environment. The team are very happy with him. So why break that up? I think that that’s been made clear to him. He’s on a long-term contract with Red Bull for the next several years. We have all the information that we need on Pierre and I think he’s been made very aware throughout the discussions that his future has always laid with AlphaTauri simply because of the evolving nature of that team and the aspirations of that team,” summed up Horner.
While the Gasly chapter for 2021 F1 season with Red Bull is over, they still have Albon, Perez and Hulkenberg to deal with. Horner has been open about the Thai’s situation, where he has to perform enough to be retained. They are fully focused on Plan A which is him, even though Plan B is hovering around long.
“I think that a fast car is sometimes a difficult car and of course, the way we try and generate lap times is on corner entry,” said Horner. “And the car has had its complexities this year, more so than even last year, I would say, and so that has made life difficult. I think we have started to understand that as a team, now I think we’re bringing developments that have started to address that.
“We’re all working hard to create a more rounded package that doesn’t have these peculiarities. So it’s something that everybody in the team is very much focused on,” summed up Horner, as Perez opened up on his side of the situation, where he says he is keeping all options open where Red Bull is of course a big priority.
“I think there is a very slim line in there,” said Perez. “There is a time where you can take the risk, wait, and then see what happens. But the season is coming to an end. So I think it’s important for teams to know what’s going on, what’s happening going forward and for drivers too. I’m looking at all my possible options and I cannot take too long any more.
“It’s not like it’s my first year or second year in the sport; I’ve done 10 years in it, so as much as I want to continue I know that it has to be the right package to carry on, and the only issue I have right now is timing. Time is not on my side. I have to definitely be making decisions very soon; we’re getting close to the end of the year and that definitely might determine a few things.
“I don’t rule them [Red Bull] out, I think, at the moment. Until they’re not confirmed they’re an option, the same as every team that hasn’t confirmed. I think as the time is running there is very, very few opportunities to remain on the grid for next year. And I haven’t thought about [the number two] position with Red Bull. The number two status is given on track. I would be very surprised if there is a team that when you come tells you that you are already a number two. I would be surprised on that, but obviously I don’t know how things work at Red Bull,” summed up Perez.
Here’s what Max Verstappen said regarding his radio comments
Here’s Christian Horner on Alexander Albon doing same as Pierre Gasly
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