Since his disastrous start to the 2019 season when he was driving for Red Bull, Pierre Gasly has proven himself in the Toro Rosso/AlphaTauri squad, with hopes of returning to the main Red Bull team sooner rather than later. Red Bull chose Sergio Perez to replace the struggling Alex Albon after 2020, retained him for 2022 and now have signed a deal for a further two years.
This means Gasly won’t be returning to the main squad anytime soon, which prompts speculation the Frenchman might be looking to find a way out of the Red Bull driver programme. But according to Helmut Marko, Red Bull’s advisor, Gasly has no better alternative than staying with AlphaTauri.
Marko told Motorsport.com that he spoke to Gasly about the situation, and that they have to “see what happens” after the 2023 season:
"Before the signing, of course, I spoke to Gasly, explained the situation to him and, yes, we'll just have to see what happens with Gasly after '23," said Marko.
"What would be the alternative?
"I don't think there is any alternative for him at the moment that would be significantly better than AlphaTauri."
Pierre Gasly on track during FP2 for the 2022 Miami GP - Image by Hasan Bratic - MotorLAT
The Austrian also hinted that no changes should be expected at AlphaTauri for 2023, but is aware the pandemic could still have an impact from time to time on the team line-up with juniors like Liam Lawson and Juri Vips potentially getting opportunities:
"It's safe to assume that the current drivers are set," Marko added.
"But, I mean, we still have with coronavirus buzzing in the room, so that means replacement drivers can come.
"I don't hope anyone gets hurt, but they'll all have to wait another year."
Marko cited Alpine’s difficulty to find a seat for 2021 Formula 2 champion Oscar Piastri as an example of how hard it is to get their junior drivers on the current F1 grid, thus making it hard to place the Red Bull drivers anywhere outside of the four seats between Red Bull and AlphaTauri:
"You can see with Alpine how hard they are struggling with Piastri,” he concluded.