Pierre Gasly to stay with Alpha Tauri for 2021 Formula 1 season

By Andrew BensonChief F1 writer
Pierre Gasly
Pierre Gasly has excelled for Alpha Tauri since being demoted from the senior Red Bull team in 2019

Pierre Gasly will stay with the Alpha Tauri team in Formula 1 next year.

The Frenchman, 24, will be entering his third full year with Red Bull's second team after an impressive 2020, in which he took his maiden grand prix win.

Gasly has excelled for the team that used to be called Toro Rosso since being demoted from the senior Red Bull team halfway through 2019.

The team have not said who will partner Gasly, with current team-mate Daniil Kvyat expected to lose his seat.

"I'm extremely happy to continue with Scuderia Alpha Tauri for another season," Gasly said.

"This year is going very well, and we are on track to have our most successful season in the team's history.

"I feel we have a very strong relationship, we have managed to take every opportunity that's come our way, the best one at the Italian Grand Prix.

"Winning my first Formula 1 race in Monza was a very special moment for me, and it was made extra sweet to deliver a second win in the team's history, so I'm very proud of that.

"I'll do my maximum to push the team and take all my responsibility to bring it as far forward as I can."

Gasly made his F1 debut for what was then called Toro Rosso in 2018, and was promoted to Red Bull in 2019 after a series of impressive performances.

But he struggled alongside Max Verstappen and was demoted back to Toro Rosso after half a season in a swap with Alexander Albon.

Team principal Franz Tost said: "Pierre has been part of the Red Bull driver pool for many years and I hope he will remain in the Red Bull family for many seasons ahead.

"Pierre has proven to be highly competitive also thanks to his great race craft, extracting the car's potential at every race and giving valuable feedback to his engineers."

One leading contender for the second seat is Japanese Yuki Tsunoda, a front-runner in the Formula 2 championship who is on the young driver programmes of both Red Bull and engine partner Honda.

The Japanese car company is pulling out of F1 at the end of 2021, but that is not expected to have an impact on whether Tsunoda is given a chance in F1 next year.

Another possibility is for Albon to be demoted from the senior Red Bull team back to Alpha Tauri.

The British-Thai is struggling to perform as expected at Red Bull, and the team have indicated he has little time left to prove to them that he deserves to keep the seat.

For the first time in many years, Red Bull are considering whether to sign a driver from outside their programme for the seat alongside their lead driver Verstappen.

The main contenders for the seat are Mexican Sergio Perez, who has been replaced at Racing Point for 2021 by four-time champion Sebastian Vettel, and German Nico Hulkenberg, who was dropped by Renault at the end of 2019 but has impressed as a sub for Racing Point at three races this year when first Perez and then his team-mate Lance Stroll contracted coronavirus.

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