Named as Red Bull reserve driver in September 2015, Gasly tested for both Scuderia Toro Rosso and Red Bull Racing during that year’s F1 rookie tests.
For the 2016 GP2 Series, Gasly joined rookie Antonio Giovinazzi with newcomers Prema PowerTeam. It was an impressive maiden campaign for René Rosin’s outfit for the team-mates disputed the championship. Gasly won four times as he narrowly beat Giovinazzi in the standings, clinching the title in the final race at Abu Dhabi.
Super Formula and F1 debut
Graduation to F1 was initially denied when Scuderia Toro Rosso decided to retain Daniil Kvyat for 2017. Gasly joined Team Mugen’s Japanese Super Formula team instead and won twice to challenge Hiroaki Ishiura for the title. Just half a point behind his rival before the final weekend at Suzuka, he lost any chance of snatching the championship when that meeting was cancelled due to the threat of a typhoon.
Gasly had made his Grand Prix debut by that time when replacing Kvyat at Toro Rosso for the Malaysian GP. He drove in five of the last six races of the season, missing the United States GP as he was committed to the Super Formula finale. He finished on each occasion with 12th in Brazil his best result. Toro Rosso switched to Honda engines in 2018 and Gasly immediately impressed by qualifying fifth and finishing fourth in Bahrain. He started and finished sixth in Hungary but both team and driver lacked consistency.
Promotion to Red Bull and return to Toro Rosso
However, Gasly was promoted to Red Bull Racing when Daniel Ricciardo made the surprise decision to switch to Renault in 2019. That opportunity proved a burden for the Frenchman struggled throughout the first half of the season. There were top six finishes in China, Spain, Monaco and Hungary and he inherited fourth when Sebastian Vettel rear-ended Verstappen at Silverstone. That was not enough for Red Bull’s management and he swapped seats with Toro Rosso’s Alexander Albon from the Belgian GP.
Relieved of the pressure to constantly deliver in a top-six car, Gasly’s return of confidence was palpable. He finished in the points at five of the remaining nine races and excelled in Brazil. Sixth on the grid at Interlagos, Gasly finished in a career-best second position after Lewis Hamilton hit Albon on the last lap.
Grand Prix winner for AlphaTauri
Seventh in the final standings, Gasly remained with the rebranded Scuderia AlphaTauri for 2020 and continued that rich vein of form when the season finally began. Having scored points in four of the opening seven races, he was on hand to inherit a shock victory when Hamilton was penalised at Monza.
In 2021, Gasly continued to outperform his car, forcing himself further up the grid in qualifying and on race day. Another podium finish at a drama-filled Grand Prix in Azerbaijan cemented his name among F1’s top flight, eventually going on to finish a brilliant ninth in the drivers’ standings – 78 points clear of rookie teammate Yuki Tsunoda.
The Frenchman’s success hit a slight speed bump in 2022, when major regulation changes halted the performance of AlphaTauri’s AT03. Suffering with underperformance, Gasly’s best performance once again came in Azerbaijan, capitalising on a double DNF from Ferrari to finish fifth. Ultimately, the extra points meant little in moving the team further up the grid, with the Swiss-based manufacturer finishing ninth in the constructor standings’ and Gasly finishing 14th in the drivers’ standings.
In an attempt to move further up the grid, Gasly has chosen to leave his long-term post at AlphaTauri to join Esteban Ocon at Alpine for 2023.