Gasly confirmed to race alongside Verstappen for 2019: F1 News
After a splendid start to his F1 career with Toro Rosso, the rookie has been deemed fit to race alongside Red Bull's rising star
Hard work pays off and the results speak for themselves. After just 17 races in F1 and 2018 being his first full season in the sport, Pierre Gasly has earned himself a spot in the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing team for the 2019 season.
The Toro Rosso driver is part of Red Bull's training program and after Daniel Ricciardo's shock announcement to switch to Renault next year and Sainz signing for McLaren, he was the only candidate in their system who could fill the space left by the Aussie. In the 2018 season so far with the new Honda powered Toro Rosso racecar, Gasly has secured 26 points despite having scored in only three races - Bahrain (4th), Monaco (7th) and most recently in Hungary (6th).
Gasly at Bahrain GP 2018
Gasly's performance in Bahrain is what really made everyone take notice of the youngster in a brand new car with a brand new engine, doing better than the rest of the middle order and finishing just one spot away from the podium. From thereon, expectations have been high from the Frenchman and he has raced well with a few unfortunate DNFs and incidents that can be blamed on lack of experience. But he does show pace and potential to compete at the front of the pack with Max Verstappen as his teammate. His 2018 experience with the Honda engine that will power Red Bull Racing for 2019 & 2020 is also a probable advantage to bring him on to the main team.
The youngster mentioned he was caught by surprise in his underwear when the call came through from the team to let him know. After winning the GP2 championship in 2016, this is a big opportunity for him to make his mark in Formula One, especially with the new car and new regulations coming in as well.
Christian Horner, Team Principal said: “Since Pierre first stepped into a Formula One seat with Scuderia Toro Rosso less than a year ago he has proved the undoubted talent that Red Bull has nurtured since his early career. His stellar performances this year at the Honda-powered team, in only his first full season in Formula One, have only enhanced his reputation as one of the leading young drivers in motorsport and we look forward to Pierre bringing his speed, skill and attitude to the team in 2019. While our immediate focus remains fully on achieving our best result in the 2018 World Championship, we look forward to competing in 2019 with Max and Pierre at the wheel of Aston Martin Red Bull Racing; the most exciting blend of youth, ability and ambition in Formula One.”
Pierre Gasly commented: “To be awarded a drive at Aston Martin Red Bull Racing from 2019 is a dream come true for me, I’m so excited to be joining this top team. It has been my goal to race for this team since I joined the Red Bull Junior Driver Programme in 2013, and this incredible opportunity is another step forward in my ambition to win Grands Prix and compete for World Championships. Red Bull has always looked to fight for championships or victories and that’s what I want. I’m a really competitive guy and when I do something it’s always to fight for the best and top positions.
A fresh name to take Gasly's place in Scuderia Toro Rosso is expected to be announced by the Italian GP weekend, while Brendon Hartley's future in F1 is also yet to be confirmed. This announcement just leaves Ferrari to confirm whether or not Kimi Raikkonen will be racing in 2019 alongside Sebastian Vettel.
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