Published: Tue, August 21, 2018
Sport | By Cameron Gross

Young Frenchman to replace Ricciardo at Red Bull

Young Frenchman to replace Ricciardo at Red Bull

Gasly stepped up to Toro Rosso for five of the final six Grands Prix - missing Austin to contest the ultimately-abandoned Super Formula title finale, placing as runner-up - and was retained for 2018.

The Frenchman, who is in his first Formula 1 season with Red Bull's junior team Torro Rosso, will replace Daniel Ricciardo when he leaves for Renault.

Pierre Gasly says he was wearing only his underwear when he found out he will drive for Red Bull next year.

Red Bull continues to promote youth in a way that many other teams refuse to.

Ricciardo had already announced he is moving to Renault, leaving a vacancy alongside 20-year-old Dutch driver Max Verstappen.

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Ricciardo, 28, stunned Red Bull by revealing earlier this month that he will end his stay with the team to join Renault in 2019.

Pierre Gasly believes his "strong friendship" with Max Verstappen will benefit Red Bull when he steps up to the team next season.

Toro Rosso are powered by Honda, whose engines will also be used by Red Bull from next season following the split from Renault.

"As hugely exciting a moment as this is, I am fully aware of the challenge this special opportunity offers me and the expectations that faces any driver at Aston Martin Red Bull Racing", continued Gasly. Verstappen became F1's youngest race victor at the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix and has since added three more victories to his name, including this year's Austrian Grand Prix at Red Bull's home race. "I'm looking forward to rewarding the faith that Dietrich Mateschitz, Christian Horner and Dr. Helmut Marko have placed in me". Then when I switched to Toro Rosso it was pretty good that Honda started the relationship with the team at the same time as me. I wish to thank Franz Tost and everyone at Toro Rosso and the factory in Faenza for giving me the golden opportunity of a drive in Formula One and their incredible commitment and support, which I know will continue for the rest of this season. "My focus now is to do everything I can to give them a season to celebrate".

Gasly, 22, was the obvious choice to take over from Ricciardo, with Carlos Sainz, now on loan to Renault from Red Bull, moving to McLaren in 2019. A career best of P4 in Bahrain showed his talent as has is raw speed in comparison to his Toro Rosso teammate Brendon Hartley, with Gasly frequently out-qualifying and out-performing the F1 newcomer.

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