Pierre Gasly is a French formula one driver currently racing for the Red Bull Racing F1 team alongside Max Verstappen. He comes from a motorsport enthusiastic family, his grandfather being a kart racer and his father has tried his hand in various racing disciplines, Gasly too was well framed and talented enough to make it to the F1 arena at the very young age of 21 years.
The road to Formula 1
Entering the karting arena at the tender age of 10 years, finished the French Minime Championship at 15th place and at 4th place in the following year. Then moved on to the KF3 category through the French Cadet Championships and stayed there until 2010 when he finished as runner-up in CIK-FIA European Championship.
After an impressive 2011 maiden season at the French F4 Championship finishing at 3rd place, he moved up to 2-liter Formula Renault in the following year and went on to win the championship in the 2013 season, which earned him a signing from Red Bull for the junior driver program.
Got a promotion to GP2 series now known as F2 in 2015 season. Though he secured three pole positions and four podiums, the season was overall a moderate one for Gasly. In 2016, Gasly became a frontrunner of the GP2 series by winning the championship through four wins and nine podiums.
Gasly went out of the track to a new track, Formula E, as a substitute driver taking the place of championship leader Sebastian Buemi at Renault in 2017. He finished both races in New York ahead of the team’s regular driver Nicolas Prost and scored the best result of fourth place.
Red Bull and Toro Rosso
The possibility of an early promotion to Formula One was a great distraction for Gasly in the latter stages of 2016. At one point he even propounded to a French journalist that he was on the verge of being promoted to Toro Rosso in place of the struggling Danii Kvyat. However, the team put his distraction on hold by re-signing Kvyat for one more year before signing Gasly for the 2017 season. With Red Bull unable to slot him into an F1 race seat, Gasly headed east for 2017 and the highly competitive Japanese Super Formula Championship, where he went on to finish at 2nd place. Though that title was lost and was followed by pointless F1 outings at the 2017 closing rounds, confirmation of a full-time contract came from Toro Rosso for the 2018 season.
Toro Rosso (2018)
Gasly had his first full season in F1 in 2018 where he was teamed up with Brandon Hartley. The partnership had a somewhat more experienced driver in Hartley teamed up with the young charger in Gasly. Pierre impressed in just his second race of the season as he secured a P4 result for the team. From that point onwards the young driver continued to widen the gap between himself and his teammate. By the end of the season, Gasly had a tally of an impressive 29 points to his name, and Hartley had only four points to his credit and ended up losing his seat. Gasly on the other hand was lined up for a surprising promotion to the senior Red Bull team to replace Daniel Ricciardo.
Red Bull (2019)
After getting fast-tracked to the senior Red Bull team after a year, Gasly was paired alongside Max Verstappen. Unfortunately for Gasly, his competitive nature, and a challenging car made like very difficult. The driver was no match for Max in the same car and the performance deficit was almost humiliating. The French driver tried everything but nothing worked. What arguably went against him was the complaints made in the media about the car. By mid-season Red Bull had seen enough and decided to demote Gasly back to Toro Rosso and give a shot to Alex Albon.
With Gasly going back to Toro Rosso, he was teamed up with Danil Kvyat. With both drivers sharing the notoriety of being demoted from the senior team, Gasly went about rebuilding his career with the team. This was arguably the moment where the driver's revival in F1 began. He was instantly the better driver than Torro Rosso and with a car that was more compliant, he started flourishing. All of this culminated in 2019 with a podium in Brazil for the young driver.
The 2020 F1 season saw Toro Rosso being rebranded as AlphaTauri. To add to this, the team started producing cars that were much more competitive in the midfield. This helped Gasly to do the unthinkable in Monza that season as the driver ended up winning his first-ever F1 race. Different types of chaos that included a red flag and Lewis Hamilton missing the red light in the pitlane played a role but it helped Gasly win an F1 race for the first time in his career.
The 2021 F1 season was somewhat similar for Gasly as the AlphaTauri continued to be a competitive car. Gasly continued to produce strong results and secure a podium as well in Baku. During this time, despite impressive results from the French driver, it did appear that Red Bull had made up its mind about Pierre and was not going to give him a promotion. Even in 2022, Gasly continued to be the more impressive AlphaTauri driver but was resigned to his fate. Fortunately for him, it was around the summer break in 2022 that Fernando Alonso announced he was moving away from Alpine to Aston Martin. As a result, the seat at Alpine opened up and Gasly decided to move to a works unit for the second time in his career.
It's still early days for Pierre Gasly at Alpine but the driver has shown impressive pace. Alongside Esteban Ocon, Gasly has continued to show an impressive turn of pace that is going to hold him in great stead if the team recovers from its present turmoil.