We have entered the 12th race of the 2019 season and a sizeable question mark lies on Pierre Gasly’s future with Red Bull and in F1. The Frenchman has made his official debut with the Milton Keynes-based outfit after two and a half seasons spent at Toro Rosso, following Kvyat’s second demotion that led to a dismissal. Gasly certainly emerged as one of the most promising candidates for the future of Red Bull, especially in case of young drivers’ shortage as we are currently witnessing.
After Helmut Marko’s failed mission with Dan Ticktum, the Red Bull junior programme seems to have stalled owing to its own excessively selective internal politics. Therefore, new paths are yet to be paved, in order to have a back-up plan for the future.
Gasly is currently placed 6th in the standings with 55 points, behind the Ferrari duo, and has accumulated a 107-point gap from Max Verstappen, who has scored two race wins so far in 2019. The Frenchman has never managed to directly challenge his teammate on equal machinery, and only brought home a better result on one occasion. His performance at Silverstone stood out, in terms of points collected and quality offence on track as well. As it stands, this highlight appears as a one-off on Pierre Gasly’s 2019 season and, although he is allowed to make mistakes in his first year in a top team, he is required to step up.
Strangely, between the two Red Bull drivers, Max Verstappen seems to be the one who is closer to walking away, after Toto Wolff manifested his interest towards the Dutchman. Christian Horner assured he has no concerns over Verstappen’s future despite the rumours. But ironically, by the skin of his teeth the chances of Gasly’s permanence at Red Bull looks more stable than it seems.
Daniil Kvyat’s chances of moving up to Red Bull for the second time are rather remote, despite the fact that he built some significant momentum ahead of the British GP up until his surprise podium at Hockenheim. The Russian is hungry for success and payback, and is certainly targeting a Red Bull seat. Moreover, a mighty comeback would tell an incredible story from the perspective of a mistreated and overlooked driver. His time will definitely come, one way or another.
However, a driver who feels the urge of coming back and swiftly making his own way back into the sport is Fernando Alonso. Helmut Marko has already dismissed the rumours concerning a potential F1 comeback with Red Bull, a team the double world champion held talks with in the past, but negotiations never made it far. The Spaniard, according to the Italian press, is willing to hop on Gasly’s seat even before the end of 2019. Therefore, in case Verstappen leaves and embarks on a Mercedes adventure for 2020, what would await Gasly? A temporary demotion followed by Gasly’s reintegration as Verstappen kisses Red Bull goodbye would be the most plausible and Marko-ish option, but it is fundamental to understand to what extent Red Bull and Alonso are willing to compromise and invest in each other. What goes around...
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