After another very disappointing result for Pierre Gasly it seems that rumours are beginning to circulate surrounding his future with Red Bull. Partially arising due to the performances from the two Toro Rosso drivers Daniil Kvyat, who came an astonishing third, and Alex Albon, who drove a great race coming sixth. But in reality, Gasly has not been up to scratch all season, falling 107 points behind his teammate Max Verstappen who has consistently impressed winning his seventh career win this weekend at Hockenheim.
It seems that for many critics Gasly’s performance at the German Grand Prix has been the final straw, and I think the contest between him and Albon really epitomised his whole race. Albon managed to pass Gasly on two separate occasions, and when it was Gasly’s turn to overtake Albon he went straight into the back of him, destroying his front wing and puncturing his tyre. In fact, he was very lucky to avoid receiving a penalty for this crash as it was deemed that he was the only one to lose out from the incident. Losing this contest with Albon has been very damaging for his reputation as many believe that Albon is favourite to replace the Red Bull driver.
Whilst you can point to many moments in the German Grand Prix where perhaps Gasly was not entirely at fault for things going wrong, for instance it seemed that at the start of the race both Red Bull’s had an immense amount of wheel spin as they set off, this is not the first poor performance that Gasly has had. He has consistently been off the pace, only breaking into the top five on two occasions, whilst Verstappen has been on the podium four times, two of those being wins.
Red Bull are seeming to give Gasly until the end of the season to secure his seat for next year, but even if he does start performing now, is it too little too late? It would have to be a remarkable second half of the season for Red Bull to not consider other drivers, especially if both drivers from Toro Rosso continue to perform like they did at Hockenheim.
Part of me feels sorry for Gasly, having Verstappen as a teammate cannot be easy as he is considered by many to be one of the most talented drivers currently on the grid. And for all drivers their immediate benchmark is their teammate as they are both driving in identical cars. And when you are underperforming like Gasly is, to have a teammate who is overperforming only goes to highlight the bad season he is having. You also need to consider the shoes he is filling; Daniel Ricciardo is a fantastic driver and someone who Red Bull didn’t really want to lose. Whenever a driver is replacing another there are inevitably going to be comparisons, and Riccairdo’s time spent with Red Bull has only gone to once again highlight Gasly’s shortcomings this season.
It is a mixture of both the situation that Gasly has come into at Red Bull and his under-performance that has placed a huge question mark over his future with the team. Taking into consideration his recent performances I find it hard to see how Gasly will come back from this to secure his seat for next year and I think we are likely to see one of the two Torro Rosso drivers being promoted to Red Bull in preparation for 2020.
What do you think? Has Gasly’s career at Red Bull come to an end? Or will he bounce back to secure his seat?
Let me know in the comments below!