July 4, 2022

MERCEDES SURPRISE OPTION IF LEWIS HAMILTON QUITS

Pierre Gasly intends to be the “obvious” option for a top team for 2023 when his contract with AlphaTauri runs out. And there is possibly a scenario – though it may seem unlikely – where despite his Red Bull ties he could fill the Mercedes seat of Lewis Hamilton.

Gasly finished ninth in the 2021 Drivers’ Championship but was widely considered one of the more impressive drivers on the grid, particularly of Hamilton and Max Verstappen, as he finished in the points 15 times.

The best of those came at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix where he ended third.

Gasly scored a career-best 110 points in 2021 and outscored rookie team-mate Yuki Tsunoda by 78, also out-qualifying the Japanese in 21 of 22 races and averaging a half-second pace advantage in qualifying.

Discussing his long-term future recently, the Frenchman said his “priority” is with Red Bull and added: “They’re saying that probably 2023 there could be an option. I’ll try to put myself in the best position for that, but it’s a discussion that we know we’re going to have next year with Red Bull.

“I’m ninth in the driver championship. All eight guys ahead of me are the drivers running for the four best constructors. That’s why it’s important for me to show that if there is a free seat, I should be the obvious choice. That’s what I’m trying to do.”