How Gasly Can Replace Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes in Big Blow to Red Bull F1

Published 12/31/2021, 7:19 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – December 10, 2021 Mercedes mechanics during a tyre change exercise on the car of Valtteri Bottas ahead of practice REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed


Pierre Gasly has openly admitted that his priorities lie with Red Bull. But how long can this allegiance last? After enduring a big blow when Red Bull retained Sergio Perez for the  2022 season, Gasly once again has to spend a season with the junior team. However, could Mercedes be a good place for the Red Bull junior?

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To put things in perspective, Gasly’s peers like Charles Leclerc and Lando Norris have found great success in historic teams like Ferrari and McLaren. Although Gasly had his shot with Red Bull in 2019 following Daniel Ricciardo’s exit, it was apparent that the decision was premature.

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And the Gasly then is nothing close to the Gasly now. With wins and podiums in hand, the Frenchman has proved time and again, that he deserves a seat in a championship-winning car. Having rebuilt his reputation as a man with unwavering prowess and zeal, Gasly is thirsty for more.

Could Mercedes quench this desire?

Why Mercedes could take in Pierre Gasly

The rumors of Lewis Hamilton’s retirement are yet to die down. Now, in the unfortunate off-chance that the unthinkable does happen, Mercedes could pick either Valtteri Bottas or maybe even Nyck de Vries. However, if Brackley is in for what could be a successful gamble, Pierre Gasly might be the name they want to consider.

Gasly very rightly observed“I’m ninth in the driver championship. All eight guys ahead of me are the drivers running for the four best constructors. That’s why it’s important for me to show that if there is a free seat, I should be the obvious choice. That’s what I’m trying to do.”

MONZA, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 06: Pierre Gasly of France and Scuderia AlphaTauri on the podium following the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza on September 06, 2020 in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Jenifer Lorenzini – Pool/Getty Images)

Thus, if Mercedes perchance had a free seat in hand, it would be foolish to absolve Gasly of a merited chance.

At first glance, his Red Bull blood would be likely to tie him to the team itself or big names like McLaren and Ferrari outside of it. However, with Alex Albon‘s move to the Mercedes-affiliated Williams, such qualms are put aside.

Further, Max Verstappen has made it clear he wants to win championships with Red Bull for decades to come; this narrows options down to just one seat as the champion’s partner, making the contention for it challenging and fierce.

A trip to 2023

Hypothetically, a number of scenarios could quash Gasly’s dreams of redemption as a Red Bull driver: another Red Bull junior like the impressive Tsunoda or the trusty Albon could take the seat; or another driver outside the academy could sit comfortably with the team, like with Perez.

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So, if the meritorious Pierre Gasly is once again kicked to the curbs by his dream team, Mercedes seems like a fitting option. It’s important to note that Hamilton’s contract with the Silver Arrows ends after the 2023 season, which would extend Gasly’s dream of a better car.

Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly in action at the start of the race REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Yet, remaining in this hypothetical dream world of Gasly’s, if Hamilton were to lose the title again in 2022, a retirement might well be on the table. And after a career-best of 110 points with a midfield team like AlphaTauri, Gasly is sure to improve from here.

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With Mercedes protege Esteban Ocon tied to Alpine till 2024, if the stars align for Gasly, 2023 would bear the fruits of his long wait; only with the glorious team hailing from Brackley instead of the one from Milton Keynes. It’s a long shot, but anything is possible in the world of Formula 1.

Watch this story: When F1 Drivers Had a Blast on Top Gear Featuring Hamilton, Vettel & Ricciardo

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Shreya Sanjeev

776 articles

Shreya Sanjeev is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having attained a journalism degree from St Xavier's College, she finds comfort in the sound of her keyboard while typing and excitement in the sound of F1 cars speeding on a track. A street circuit and Daniel Ricciardo fan through and through, Shreya claims the 2018 Monaco GP to be one of her favorite races of all time.

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