Dr Helmut Marko admits he is thinking about giving Pierre Gasly another chance at Red Bull’s top Formula 1 team.
The Frenchman, now 26, struggled alongside Max Verstappen in 2019 before his mid-season relegation, where he is now the solid team leader at the junior outfit Alpha Tauri.
But Gasly, who sensationally won the 2020 Italian GP, told Canal Plus this week that getting another chance with a top team is now just “a matter of time”.
“We still have a contract with him until 2023,” Marko, the head of Red Bull’s notorious driver program, told formel.de.
“If this contract expires and we can’t offer him a chance for promotion, we will most likely lose him and we don’t want that,” the 78-year-old Austrian added.
F1 legend Gerhard Berger recently said Gasly is “good enough for another chance” at Red Bull, where the experienced Mexican Sergio Perez – Checo – is currently Verstappen’s teammate.
“Gerhard is right,” Marko admits. “But at the moment we still have a contract with Checo.
“We need to compare the performances of these two drivers. We still have until the middle of the year with Checo to do that.”
The latter comment implies that Perez’s current one-year deal includes an option clause, which is typically activated by Formula 1 teams in the late summer.
Two-time GP winner Perez, 32, gave his cause a big boost in Saudi Arabia with a sensational pole position.
“I think there is no other circuit like this,” he said in Jeddah. “If I can get pole here, I can get pole anywhere in the world.”
“The car suits him more now, he feels more comfortable and he knows the team,” he said. “We are very pleased that this development has taken place.”