Red Bull Racing have confirmed that Pierre Gasly will partner Max Verstappen at the team from 2019.
Just a couple of weeks after Daniel Ricciardo’s shock switch to Renault for next season, Red Bull have elected to promote from within their own driver system and give the drive to Gasly.
The competition for the available seat looked to be between Gasly and Renault’s Carlos Sainz, who is on loan from the Red Bull academy this year.
However, with Sainz being announced as Fernando Alonso’s replacement at McLaren for next year, Gasly has been the clear favourite for the Red Bull drive.
Gasly commented that he was relishing the opportunity to fight for races wins at the senior team.
“To be awarded a drive at Aston Martin Red Bull Racing from 2019 is a dream come true for me, I’m so excited to be joining this top team,” said Gasly.
“It has been my goal to race for this team since I joined the Red Bull Junior Driver Programme in 2013, and this incredible opportunity is another step forward in my ambition to win Grands Prix and compete for World Championships.
“Red Bull has always looked to fight for championships or victories and that’s what I want. I’m a really competitive guy and when I do something it’s always to fight for the best and top positions.
“As hugely exciting a moment as this is, I am fully aware of the challenge this special opportunity offers me and the expectations that faces any driver at Aston Martin Red Bull Racing. I’m looking forward to rewarding the faith that Dietrich Mateshitz, Christian Horner and Dr Helmut Marko have placed in me.
“The first phase of that is to keep pushing for ultimate performance and the best results in 2018 that I can achieve for my team, Scuderia Toro Rosso.
“I wish to thank Franz Tost and everyone at Toro Rosso and the factory in Faenza for giving me the golden opportunity of a drive in Formula One and their amazing commitment and support, which I know will continue for the rest of this season. My focus now is to do everything I can to give them a season to celebrate.”
After taking the GP2 title in 2016 and making his Formula One debut towards the end of the 2017 season, Gasly is racing in his first full season in Formula One.
He’s claimed the majority of Toro Rosso’s points this year and achieved standout results at the Bahrain, Monaco and Hungarian Grands Prix, taking fourth, seventh and sixth places respectively.