Pierre Gasly, 25, has faced adversity in his short career as a race car driver yet Gasly has still been turning heads and showing his critics he is a top tier driver. While many know he is a great driver, not many believe he has what it takes to be a world champion.
Gasly can be a Formula One world champion, but only if the pieces fall into place. The biggest factor in him taking the step to be champion is to find a way to get on a team that can compete for wins consistent.
F1 in theory is a sport like any other. There are 10 teams that battle for a championship every year, with two drivers for every team. But unlike many sports, F1 has two different championships that are awarded at the end of the season, and not every competitor has an equal chance to win.
Despite being on a less competitive team, Gasly is in the top ten. This is significant because while he is driving a slower car he is still outperforming others.
There is the Formula One World Drivers’ Championship which is awarded to the driver who has amassed the most points at the end of the F1 season. Points are awarded to those who finish in the top 10 at the end of the race. The higher up in the ‘grid’ you finish, the more points you win.
Then there is the Constructors Championship, which is awarded to the team that has collected the most points. Constructors points are tallied when adding the points of the two drivers that are on that team at the end of a race.
The other big difference in F1 is that each team has their own internal budget to spend on that two cars that will be on the race track for that season. Teams like Mercedes and Red Bull would have more money to put into a car as opposed to a smaller team like Haas and Williams.
Gasly races for Scuderia AlphaTauri, which is a unique team. AlphaTauri is a second Red Bull racing team used to groom younger drivers before being given their true opportunity with the main team.
Since AlphaTauri is the ‘B team’ under Red Bull’s bubble, the car is not has fast, reliable, or nimble as the true Red Bull car. So far this season Gasly has finished 13 races and only fell out of the top 10 twice. To do that in a car that is not as fast a lot of the others is beyond impressive.
Why hasn’t Gasly been called to the main Red Bull team if he’s been performing this well?
He was called up to the Red Bull Team but then sent back to the B team. In 2019 Gasly was announced as Red Bulls second driver for that season. Gasly would only participate in 12 out of the 21 races for the team that season. He was sent back to Scuderia Toro Rosso (previous name for AlphaTauri) due to lacklustre performances.
On top of being demoted to Toro Rosso during the 2019 season at the Belgium Grand Prix weekend, Anthoine Hubert who was a really close and childhood friend to Gasly, died in the Formula Two race that weekend. Gasly finished ninth that weekend, and got his first career podium, finishing third in the Brazilian Grand Prix later that year.
The Monza Grand Prix in 2020 marked Gasly’s greatest achievement in his F1 career. He qualified to start tenth on the grid, and he made his way up the grid to win his first race in his F1 career. After all the lows in his career, from, struggling in a competitive car, being demoted, and losing his close friend, he was finally able to reach the top step of an F1 podium.
After winning his first race Gasly has been one of the most consistent drivers on the grid. Other teams will start to take notice and see that Gasly is a championship caliber driver, when given the right car.