Red Bull’s Jonathan Wheatley agrees that Pierre Gasly is ready to make his comeback to the top team, from where he was ousted in 2019.
Pierre Gasly had a dramatic success that earned him a spot at Red Bull. However, the Frenchman failed to impress the bosses with his 12 races with the team.
And eventually, he got demoted to Toro Rosso (now Alpha Tauri). Since then, he has been serving the junior team. Though, his rise has been dramatic, as his impressive performances have attracted the interest of the other teams.
Gasly, ever since ousted by Red Bull, has won three podiums, including the incredible Monza 2020 win. Seeing his last year’s performances, even Red Bull’s Jonathan Wheatley thinks Gasly is ready to return to Red Bull.
“We learned a huge amount of things from Alex; we learned how to help support a younger driver who’s having a difficult time,” he said. “[It was the] same with Pierre before that. Look at the confidence Pierre has got again, now he’s back in a slightly smaller team!”
“I think, honestly, Pierre is ready to make the next step up now.”
Pierre Gasly and 2023 ultimatum
Gasly is going into the fifth year of his F1 career. Yet, he is still representing a junior team. A thought he wouldn’t be pleased with. Thus, at the end of the last season, he said he would have to move away from Red Bull’s setup if he didn’t get to be back by 2023.
Currently, Red Bull has employed Sergio Perez, but he’s in the final year with the team. If, in case, he fails to deliver, it seems Gasly is in the pecking order to be promoted.
Pierre Gasly’s reactions are ridiculous 🤯 pic.twitter.com/1qd19zMZw3
— ESPN F1 (@ESPNF1) January 28, 2022
Max Verstappen made the life of junior drivers miserable
While Red Bull’s academy produces exceptional talent every year, they struck gold with Max Verstappen. Wheatley explains how the Dutchman raised the bar for the other academy drivers.
“Alex is an extraordinary young man,” Wheatley explained. “[A] fantastic driver, a seriously, seriously fast driver. But, a bit like Pierre, [it’s] very difficult to come into a team with Max Verstappen as your teammate.”
“It’s been a bit of a gulf really coming from AlphaTauri or Toro Rosso in the past, into a race team with somebody the likes of Max in it. Max had to do with Daniel [Ricciardo], but we can see now that Max is another extraordinary talent.”
“But Alex and his dedication and the fact that he never once let his emotions overcome him… I think it just shows a resilience in the guy.”