Pierre Gasly believes he is now ready to be recalled to Red Bull after a sublime maiden Grand Prix victory at Monza last night.
The Frenchman was unquestionably very fortunate in his win, benefiting from a sequence of peculiar events capped off by with six-time world champion gifting the lead away after a heedless error by his Mercedes team to pit him when the pitlane was closed. But he did manage to maintain his composure and fend off a late resistance by Carlos Sainz in the hard-charging McLaren while avoiding trouble to duly collect the victory.
AlphaTauri had not won in 12 years since Sebastian Vettel did so under the Toro Rosso moniker in a wet Italian Grand Prix at the same venue, and many largely did not expect Gasly would be the driver that adds the next win to the team’s CV.
Gasly was promoted to Red Bull Racing for 2019 after Daniel Ricciardo’s move to Renault but survived only five months before being demoted again in favour of Alex Albon. He has since rebuilt his career with the junior team and has become a formidable opponent in the midfield, scoring two podiums in just a little over 12 months.
On the contrary, Albon has struggled in the second Red Bull seat. Comfortably outplayed by teammate Max Verstappen most weekends, Albon’s future in the team has quickly come under scrutiny.
It is a difficult year for both Honda-powered teams as they look to bring Toyota Racing Series graduate and Formula 2 driver Yuki Tsunoda up through the ranks and into either one of the yet-filled AlphaTauri seats for 2021, meaning at least one driver on the grid could miss out on a seat next year.
But now, following a historic day in Monza, Gasly is calling on Red Bull, suggesting he is ready to be re-promoted to the senior squad should the team look to reacquire his services.
“I think I’m ready [to return to Red Bull], but it’s not up to me to make that call,” said Gasly.
“The only thing I’ve done since they moved me back to Toro Rosso is to just focus on myself and just show what I can do when I get the right tools in my hand.
“Obviously I guess the strong results should be rewarded with something.
“There have been many, many strong drivers in Toro Rosso. I’m really happy to be one of the two that managed to get a win for this team.
“Obviously I guess the strong results should be rewarded with something, but we’ll see what happens.
“At the moment it’s not something I really want to think about, I just want to enjoy this moment because it’s my first win in F1 and we’ll have time to think about this later.”
Scenes of Gasly’s emotional win have littered social media with images of the Frenchman in tears of jubilation and triumph as he celebrated on the podium.
No Frenchman had stood aloft on the top step of the F1 rostrum since Olivier Panis did in 1996 at the Monaco Grand Prix. It was a feeling Gasly conceded he was not ready to experience.
“I still feel I’m quite new to this world and I’m improving year after year and just getting better the whole time,” he said.
“I would have never expected that [win] a year ago when I got back to Toro Rosso.
“The [Brazil 2019] podium was already unexpected and a big, big highlight last year.
“I wasn’t ready for that feeling as well, even though you always try to imagine the best scenario the best start, the best race, everything in the best way.”
Gasly’s crazy win elevates him to eighth in the championship, five points behind Albon.
Formula 1 will stay in Italy ahead of the next round of the world championship which will be held in the Tuscan circuit of Mugello on September 11-13.