The Formula 1 silly season appears to be getting far more silly than anyone thought possible. This website broke the news last week of Pierre Gasly’s intentions to join Alpine in place of Fernando Alonso. Now Red Bull reacts.
First Sebastian Vettel announces his departure from Aston Martin, setting in motion a spiral of driver moves making this summer the biggest upheaval of driver signings in many years. Now we have Fernando Alonso surprising all with his departure from Alpine, and Daniel Ricciardo being moved to one side at McLaren to allow rookie Oscar Piastri in. The obvious place for Ricciardo to land was Alpine, but TJ13 published a piece some time ago explaining the situation around Red Bull’s Alpha Tauri driver Pierre Gasly and his intent to join the French team Alpine.
Now, RacingNews365 reports that the 26-year-old is said to have an exit clause built into his recently signed contract, allowing him to leave AlphaTauri for a better-placed racing team, which would obviously be Alpine.
Germany’s SPORT1 website claims to have had a response from Red Bull’s Dr Helmut Marko, head of driver development and not exactly huge friends with Pierre Gasly, who confirmed there was no such clause.
“There is no exit clause with Gasly, there wasn’t one before the summer break and there won’t be one after the summer break,”
If Gasly pursues an exit from a Red Bull team, it looks like Alpha Tauri will likely fight the move. Team boss Franz Tost is reported to have said: “For Red Bull it makes no sense to let Pierre go. If a Red Bull driver drops out, there is no other adequate driver who can step in. Only Gasly can do that.”
“Pierre is very talented,” the Austrian said in a recent interview with SPORT1. “He thinks about everything carefully and is very focused. With the right car, he can be up front. That is our task now.”
So clearly there is little appetite for Gasly to leave from a team perspective, and with very few chances now for Gasly to rejoin the senior team Red Bull Racing since a deal was struck with Mexican Sergio Perez, we might well see further legal shenanigans.