Pierre Gasly to drive for Aston Martin Red Bull Racing ahead of the 2019 season
By: S. Harding, Xiro Xone News August 20, 2018 Updated: 3:19 PM PT
Red Bull Racing has announced that Toro Rosso driver Pierre Gasly will join the team ahead of the 2019 Formula One season.
Gasly will partner alongside Max Verstappen, replacing the Renault bound Daniel Ricciardo as the 22-year-old French drive takes a big step in his growing F1 career.
“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,” said Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner. “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 most exciting 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.”
Last season, Gasly was brought in to replace Daniil Kvyat during the second half of the season, making his debut at Malaysian Grand Prix.
Now, in his first full season in F1 this year, Gasly has made positive progress with a fourth place finish at the Bahrain Grand Prix along with top ten finishes in Monaco and Hungary.
“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,” Gasly said. “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.
“As hugely exciting a moment as this is, I am fully aware of the challenge this special opportunity offers me and the expectations that faces any driver at Aston Martin Red Bull Racing. I’m looking forward to rewarding the faith that Dietrich Mateschitz, Christian Horner, and Dr. Helmut Marko have placed in me. The first phase of that is to keep pushing for ultimate performance and the best results in 2018 that I can achieve for my team, Scuderia Toro Rosso.
I wish to thank Franz Tost and everyone at Toro Rosso and the factory in Faenza for giving me the golden opportunity of a drive in Formula One and their amazing commitment and support, which I know will continue for the rest of this season. My focus now is to do everything I can to give them a season to celebrate,” he said.
Toro Rosso have not yet announced who will partner driver Brendon Hartley or if the New Zealander will stay on with the team as his contract expires at the end of the season.
Gasly’s move makes the latest driver lineup change that has taken place during F1’s summer break. Last week McLaren announced that Carlos Sainz would be moving to McLaren to replace the retiring Fernando Alonso.
The summer break comes to a close this weekend as the second half of the 2018 Formula One season kicks off from Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps for the Belgium Grand Prix.