Pierre Gasly has expressed surprise that he wasn’t considered for a 2021 Red Bull seat in the wake of his retention by AlphaTauri.
AlphaTauri confirmed earlier this week that Gasly, who claimed a shock victory at the Italian Grand Prix and holds ninth in the standings, will stay on for 2021.
It came in the wake of Red Bull’s hierarchy regularly insisting that Gasly, who was demoted to Toro Rosso after 12 races with Red Bull in 2019, was not in contention for a 2021 seat.
Speaking ahead of this weekend’s condensed Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola Gasly says his performances through 2020 meant he warranted consideration for a promotion back to the senior team.
“I will say I’m not disappointed, I will say I’m just surprised,” said Gasly.
“You know, in 14 years Sebastian [Vettel] won a race with Toro Rosso. The only other driver who won a race, Seb got promoted to Red Bull and won four titles with the team.
“So no, I must say I’m just surprised I wasn’t really considered. Two podiums with Toro Rosso, I think this season is going all right and on my side the only thing I can do is trying to put some strong performances.
“I need to perform as much as I can for AlphaTauri. I’m happy to be here and I am just focus on this weekend and trying to get the best result I can for the team.”
On whether he had been given an explanation by Red Bull chief Helmut Marko Gasly said: “They have their strategy. You know, it’s down to them.
“I think if you want better answer I think it’s better to ask them straightaway, but on my side I think it’s been made clear to me I will continue already since quite a while with this team.
“And as I say, I’m not disappointed. I think we’re performing on a great level, I’m 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 yeah, at the moment I just need to perform and do the best job I can in the team I am, and I’m not disappointed. I’m really happy to continue with AlphaTauri. And for another year and I’ll keep doing my very best for this team.”