#10 PIERRE GASLY
The 2016 GP2 Champion was made to wait for his F1 opportunity, but it finally came late in 2017 as Toro Rosso shuffled their driver line-up, and led to a full season with the team in 2018. After a number of impressive drives and Ricciardo’s move to Renault, Pierre Gasly joins Red Bull for the 2019 season. Can he live up to the high standard of results he’s delivered in the junior categories?
|Full Name||Pierre Gasly|
|Date of Birth||7th February 1996|
|First Race||2017 Malaysia Grand Prix|
Pierre Gasly was born in Rouen, France in 1996. He competed in his first karting championship at the age of ten, where he finished fifteenth in the French Minime Championship and then went on to finish fourth in the same championship in the following year. He competed in the French Cadet Championship in 2008 and moved to the international KF3 category, eventually finishing as runner-up in the 2010 CIK-FIA European Championship.
Moving to single-seaters for 2011, Gasly moved in to the French F4 Championship, where he enjoyed three victories and finished third in the end of year standings. The Formula Renault Eurocup followed in 2012 and more podiums came the Frenchman’s way. He went on to beat Oliver Rowland to the title in that series in 2013 with three wins and eight podiums. Moving into Formula Renault 3.5 in 2014, he finished runner-up to fellow Red Bull junior Carlos Sainz. While Sainz went on to race with Toro Rosso in the 2015 F1 season, Gasly was signed up as Red Bull’s reserve driver.
Alongside his Red Bull duties, Gasly competed in his first season of GP2 in 2015. He had made his début at the Monza event in 2014, filling in for Tom Dillmann for one race only. Racing with DAMS for his first full season, Gasly showed he had the speed, taking three poles and four podiums, but also showed inexperience, causing a number of collisions throughout the year. Along with his GP2 program, the Frenchman received his first taste of driving an F1 car, testing with Toro Rosso and Red Bull in May. For 2016, Gasly continued in GP2 with the new Prema team. He and team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi led the team to their first title on their first attempt, while the pair battled for the Drivers’ Title until the final weekend of the season. It was Gasly who came out on top, winning the title by eight points with four wins over the year.
With no places available at the Toro Rosso team, Pierre Gasly was forced to have a year on the sidelines in 2017, but still raced in the Japanese Super Formula series. After months of persistent rumours, Gasly made his F1 début at the 2017 Malaysian Grand Prix with Toro Rosso, replacing Daniil Kvyat. He stayed for just two races before jetting off to Japan to compete in the final round of the Super Formula season, where he was still in title contention. The trip was ultimately a wasted journey, as the race meeting was cancelled due to bad weather. Gasly finished all the F1 Grands Prix he started in 2017, with a best finish of twelfth at the Brazilian Grand Prix.
The Frenchman embarked on his first full F1 season with Toro Rosso in 2018 and made better use of the Honda-powered car than his team-mate. After a disappointing start in Australia, which saw him qualify last and retire with an engine failure in the early stages, Gasly finished a highly impressive fourth in the Bahrain Grand Prix, equalling the team’s second-best-ever result. Other impressive drives followed, including in Hungary where he finished best of the rest once again with a sixth place result. Just after that strong showing, it was announced that Gasly would join Red Bull for 2019.
His career in the junior categories is proof why Red Bull have faith in the Frenchman. Will he be any match for superstar team-mate Max Verstappen in 2019, and can he give France their first Formula 1 victory in 23 years?
PIERRE GASLY’S F1 RECORD
|Year||Team||Final Position||Points Scored||Wins||Poles||Podiums|