Ahead of the team's third home race, the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Scuderia AlphaTauri have confirmed that Pierre Gasly will continue to drive for the Faenza-based team for the 2021 Formula 1 season.
The 24-year-old driver joined the FIA Formula One World Championship at the 2017 Malaysian Grand Prix, Round 15 of that season, replacing Daniil Kvyat. Despite finishing every race, the Frenchman failed to score a point in his five appearances at the closing stages of the 2017 season. He stayed with the team for the following year, scoring points in five races. His point tally of 29 units earned him a 15th place in the Drivers’ Championship.
He was promoted to the Red Bull team for the 2019 season, but he endured a difficult time in the high-pressure environment. While his teammate Max Verstappen scored two victories and two third-place finishes during the first twelve grands prix, his best result was only a fourth place that he scored at the British Grand Prix.
Following a difficult Hungarian Grand Prix, Gasly was demoted back to Toro Rosso, swapping places with Alexander Albon. Interestingly, he scored his first podium finish with a second place at the chaotic Brazilian Grand Prix later in 2019 and experienced the highlight of the racing career at this year’s Italian Grand Prix, winning the turbulent race at Monza.
Reflecting on the contract extension, the Frenchman said: “I’m extremely happy to continue with Scuderia AlphaTauri for another season! This year is going very well, and we are on track to have our most successful season in the team’s history.
"I feel we have a very strong relationship, we have managed to take every opportunity that’s come our way, the best one at the Italian Grand Prix. Winning my first Formula 1 race in Monza was a very special moment for me, and it was made extra sweet to deliver a second win in the team’s history, so I’m very proud of that.
"I’ll do my maximum to push the team and take all my responsibility to bring it as far forward as I can. I’m looking forward to next year’s challenge and continuing with AlphaTauri both as a premium fashion brand and a racing team, to keep performing as much as I can to achieve even more success in the future.”
Commenting the announcement, AlphaTauri team boss Franz Tost said: “I’m delighted that Pierre will remain with us for the 2021 season. He has been part of the Red Bull driver pool for many years and I hope he will remain in the Red Bull family for many seasons ahead.
"Since he came back to the team last year, he consistently showed extremely good performances achieving two podiums, with a second place in Brazil in 2019 and a win at the team’s home race at this year’s Italian Grand Prix. Pierre has proven to be highly competitive also thanks to his great race craft, extracting the car’s potential at every race and giving valuable feedback to his engineers. He is mentally very strong, he is always motivated and when he sets a goal he gives it his all to achieve it. I’m looking forward to extending this cooperation and having a successful 2021 season together.”