Last week Red Bull announced a contract renewal that will see Sergio Perez race for the team for at least another two seasons, shutting down any chance of a comeback for Pierre Gasly.
“It’s logical, it’s not like it was a surprise,” he told the media in Baku on Thursday.
“I’m a very objective person and based on what they expect from the second driver, Perez ticks all the boxes. He’s having an amazing season, he’s performing very well, fast, has some backup financially, good experience and he’s a good fit for the team. So it’s not like it was a surprise at all for me.”
“But obviously, on the other side, the impact it has on my career and the ambitions that I have is obviously affected. So that’s what we are discussing at the moment with Helmut to find what works best for all of us and how do we go forward.”
After a brief stint at Red Bull back in 2019, Gasly went back to the then Toro Rosso and in the last two years with the team he has been performing quite well, including his first Formula 1 win in Monza.
This season, however, has been rather challenging for AlphaTauri so far who has only managed to bring home a total of 17 points.
“I’ve shown last year when the car was more competitive what I can do in a midfield car – not only last year but 2020, 2019 as well,” he reminded.
“I understand their [Red Bull’s] position and, on the other side, it doesn’t mean that I understand the fact that things should stay as they are. But it’s just finding what’s best for everyone.”
“Obviously, I’m committed to AlphaTauri right now and will always give my best to this team, even if we are going through harder times because this year is not as competitive as we would have liked and not as competitive as last year, which is obviously not as exciting.”
“Last year we were qualifying P6 and lining up many times next to Charles [Leclerc]. It’s crazy in one year how things can change. On one side, Charles is fighting for the championship and we’re fighting barely to make it to the top 10.”
Waiting around for Red Bull at least another two seasons staying at AlphaTauri would be less than ideal for a driver who has proved to be able to fight at least at the top of the midfield.
“It’s a more difficult time but it’s also I like the challenge of trying to push the team forward, but personally I have ambitions and my ambitions are more than just fighting for top 10s. That’s not what I work for every day, I want more than that, I want to fight at the front,” he said.
“Priority number one is to perform for AlphaTauri and to discuss with Helmut what’s best for all of us, which we do. And after 10 years of relationship – they’ve known me since I was a kid – they know me exactly. We have a really good relationship with Helmut and it’s a matter of finding how to make this work for all of us.”
Talks with Red Bull are on-going and Gasly doesn’t rule out a solution similar to the one they have found for Alex Albon, who is racing for Williams but with a sponsorship from Milton Keynes.
“At the moment, I would say yes. I don’t want to elaborate because I don’t want to make headlines about what’s happening,” he replied when asked about that.
“My situation is quite clear, if there is something you guys would know in time, but there’s not much to add on that side.”
His contract at AlphaTauri runs until the end of the current season and - although nothing is decided yet – Red Bull doesn’t want to lose him.
“Beyond 2023 I consider all options as I don’t have anything beyond that,” he stated.
“These are things we need to discuss with Helmut. Obviously they want to keep me in the programme but we need to see how to make this work. It’s just normal conversations that are ongoing.”