Pierre Gasly not Singing 'Happy Happy Joy Joy' Over His 2021 F1 Assignment at AlphaTauri

Mike Pryson
·5 min read
Photo credit: Peter Fox - Getty Images
Photo credit: Peter Fox - Getty Images

From Autoweek

Pierre Gasly, despite his strong 2020 F1 season, has been told that he is being assigned to AlphaTauri for another season.

Gasly and Sebastian Vettel are the only two drivers to win for Red Bull's sister team since 2008.

Gasly is currently ninth in the F1 Drivers' Standings, just one place back of Red Bull's Alex Albon.

Pierre Gasly's words just didn't match his body language on Friday in Imola, Italy, ahead of Sunday's Formula 1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Gasly, driver for Red Bull junior team AlphaTauri, couldn't say enough times how happy he was and how disappointed he wasn't when he found out that he was not a candidate for a seat at Red Bull Racing in 2021.

He might have even set a record for saying "I'm really happy" the most times without actually smiling. He was wearing a face mask, so we'll never know for sure. Luckily, neither will his bosses.

Photo credit: Pool - Getty Images
Photo credit: Pool - Getty Images

Gasly is putting together one of the most surprising seasons in Formula 1 in 2020. He won at Monza, and he's ninth in the F1 Drivers' Standings, just one point shy of Red Bull driver Alex Albon and two points back of McLaren's Lando Norris. And while Albon's 2021 fate at Red Bull has not been decided, or at least announced, one thing that has been determined is that Gasly won't be the one taking Albon's seat if a change is made.

On Friday, Gasly said that he's yet to get a clear explanation for why he's destined for another year on the B team.

"Not really," Gasley said when asked whether Red Bull has explained to him why he wasn't being considered for a call-up. "But I think it’s clear that I will continue with AlphaTauri. It’s been a couple of weeks already, and I think it’s fine."

"I’m really happy to work with them. AlphaTauri is really happy to work with me, and I think we’re doing a fantastic job. That’s the way it is. I keep moving forward. I keep pushing. I know my targets in Formula 1. I know what I want to achieve, and it’s all fine. I’ll keep doing my best for AlphaTauri and try to bring in as much success as the team should have."

Photo credit: Rudy Carezzevoli - Getty Images
Photo credit: Rudy Carezzevoli - Getty Images

While Gasly was saying all the right things, it was clear he wasn't exactly beaming at the thought of another year of having to impress the bosses at Red Bull. He compared his plight to that of Sebastian Vettel, who won a race for Toro Rosso (which is now AlphaTauri) at Monza in 2008. Vettel got the call to Red Bull the next season.

Vettel was just 21 when given the keys at Red Bull.

"I am not disappointed. I will say I’m just surprised," said Gasly, who started the 2019 season at Red Bull before swapping rides with Albon. "Seb won a race with Toro Rosso. I'm the only other driver to have won a race (for them). Seb was promoted to Red Bull and won four titles with the team.

"I’m just surprised I was not really considered. I've had two podiums with Toro Rosso. I think this season is doing all right. On my side, the only thing I can do is try and put some strong performances to give me opportunities in the future. I’m happy to be here, and I’m just focused on this weekend and trying to get the best result I can for the team."

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner was surprised, too. Surprised that Gasly didn't appear to have gotten the message that Horner said Red Bull delivered with its decision to keep him at AlphaTauri for at least the start of another year.

"I think it’s been made very clear to him," Horner said. "He’s a key part of the AlphaTauri team. AlphaTauri has got different aspirations that that of Toro Rosso. It’s not purely a junior team. It’s more of a sister team, as I previously stated.

"I think we’re very pleased for Pierre in that he’s doing a great job in that environment. He’s happy in that environment. The team are very happy with him, so why break that up? I think that that’s been made clear to him."

Horner said that Gasly has plenty of time to compete for championships at Red Bull.

"He’s on a long-term contract with Red Bull for the next several years," Horner said. "So, we have all the information that we need on Pierre. As I said, I think he’s been made very aware throughout the discussions that his future (right now) is with AlphaTarui simply because of the evolving nature of that team and the aspirations of that team."

Gasly just wants to make sure Horner knows that his aspirations are with Red Bull.

"They have their strategy," Gasly said. "If you want a better answer, I think it’s better to ask them straight away. On my side, I think it’s been made clear to me that I will continue here.

"As I said, I’m not disappointed. I think we’re performing on a great level. I am able to show my potential. I’m able to show my speed, my skills. I’m 24 years old. Obviously my goal in Formula 1 is to fight at the top and one day to fight for a championship. But at the moment I just need to perform and do the best job that I can in the team I am. "

And maybe even smile a little along the way.

Now that Lewis Hamilton has set the record for most wins in a season and he's all but wrapped up the F1 championship, are you still watching Formula 1. Tell your fellow race fans why F1 is still worth watching in 2020 in the comments below.