Pierre Gasly ready for Red Bull return as AlphaTauri star makes Max Verstappen vow

F1: Lando Norris says he didn’t think he’d make podium

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Pierre Gasly has laid out his ambitions to return to Red Bull after insisting he can rival Max Verstappen for pace on the racetrack. The F1 star has been linked with a possible return to the team three years after his demotion and the Frenchman is keen to make the step up.

“I feel ready. I felt like I’ve shown my potential,” Gasly told RaceFans. “I’ve shown that I’m able to deliver once I get the tools that I need in my hands to do it. But then after, I also understand them [Red Bull]. It’s their decision – I’m fine with that.

“I think what’s important is that, at the end of the day, when you work with a team – a team works with a driver or a driver works with a team – there needs to be that common will and desire to do it together. Whatever it takes. There needs to be the will to do things together, to have the same target in mind.”

The current issue for Gasly is that Sergio Perez, brought in to replace Alex Albon at the start of the 2021 season, is doing a stellar job as Verstappen’s deputy. The Mexican needed time to adjust to the car and expectations of the team, but the 31-year-old played a crucial role in helping Verstappen clinch the title in Abu Dhabi, strengthening their relationship as a result.

There have also been negative noises from Red Bull’s special advisor Dr Helmut Marko, who has cast doubt over Gasly’s chances of a second chance in the Red Bull seat in the future after lasting just 12 races in the first half of 2019. While his views are not necessarily shared by team principal Christian Horner, Gasly may have to go elsewhere for his next drive.

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At 26, Gasly has a long future ahead of him in the sport and has demonstrated his potential with a stunning drive to win the 2020 Italian Grand Prix, his maiden victory in F1. And the highly-rated Frenchman believes he can mix it with drivers of a similar age, such as Verstappen, Charles Leclerc, George Russell and Lando Norris.

“I see Charles in a Ferrari, I see Max in the Red Bull, George in the Mercedes, Lando in the McLaren – I’ve been fighting with these guys all my career,” Gasly says. “I know that’s where I belong and I want to get my chance to be in this position as well.”

If he is denied the chance to partner Verstappen with the team in the future, there are likely to be several teams interested in his services. McLaren may be looking to replace Daniel Ricciardo in 2023, while Mercedes would surely enlist Gasly as a candidate to succeed Lewis Hamilton if he decides to hang up his gloves at the end of the season.

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