Italian Grand Prix winner Pierre Gasly believes he has now proved he’s ready to be recalled to Red Bull’s main Formula 1 team, but insists he’s not thinking about the possibility.
Gasly was promoted from what was then Toro Rosso to Red Bull Racing for 2019 after Daniel Ricciardo’s move to Renault, but lasted just five months before being demoted again in favour of Alex Albon.
Since then, Gasly has rebuilt his career with the now AlphaTauri-branded team while his Red Bull replacement Albon has endured an increasingly difficult 2020 season.
Asked in the wake of his shock Monza victory – on a day when Albon finished 15th with a damaged car – whether he was ready to handle a Red Bull seat again and whether he felt that would be a good move for 2021, Gasly made clear he felt he had proved his worth.
“I think I’m ready, but it’s not up to me to make that call,” said Gasly of the prospect of a Red Bull return.
“The only thing I’ve done since they moved me back to Toro Rosso is to just focus on myself and just show what I can do when I get the right tools in my hand.
“Obviously I guess the strong results should be rewarded with something” :: Pierre Gasly
“I’m really happy at the performance we’ve shown, not only talking about [the 2019 podium in] Brazil but generally we’ve been pretty strong most of the time, we’ve had some really strong qualifyings and really strong races. We’ll see what happens.
“There have been many, many strong drivers in Toro Rosso. I’m really happy to be one of the two that managed to get a win for this team.
“Obviously I guess the strong results should be rewarded with something but we’ll see what happens.
“At the moment it’s not something I really want to think about, I just want to enjoy this moment because it’s my first win in F1 and we’ll have time to think about this later.”
AlphaTauri’s only previous F1 win had come in its Toro Rosso guise at Monza 12 years earlier with Sebastian Vettel in a famous wet race.
Gasly admitted it was hard to take in everything that had happened to him in his short F1 career so far, the rapid turnaround from his demotion a year ago to this victory and his new place in his team’s history.
“I still feel I’m quite new to this world and I’m improving year after year and just getting better the whole time,” he said.
“I would have never expected that [win] a year ago when I got back to Toro Rosso.
“The [Brazil 2019] podium was already unexpected and a big, big highlight last year.
“I wasn’t ready for that feeling as well, even though you always try to imagine the best scenario the best start, the best race, everything in the best way.
“We know that [a win] only happened once in the whole history of Toro Rosso in Formula 1.
“Franz [Tost] actually told me ‘I’m really proud of you because we’ve done it in the dry now’.
“It was very difficult but I’m just very happy to show my speed.
“I worked on myself day after day race after race since last year just trying to get stronger all the time and I’m really happy today I get the reward of all the hard work we have done with AlphaTauri and also with Honda.”