Pierre Gasly will join Red Bull Racing for the 2019 season, replacing the outgoing Daniel Ricciardo. Gasly will partner Max Verstappen at the team, and gets the senior team call-up despite being in just his first full season in Formula 1.
Gasly has been strongly linked to the Red Bull seat following Ricciardo's shock announcement that he would leave the energy drink team at the end of the 2018 season. The 22-year-old joined Red Bull's junior programme in 2013.
Gasly joined the GP2 grid in 2014, competing in just 6 races. However after two full seasons in the series, he came out on top in 2016, beating rookie teammate Antonio Giovinazzi. While it was thought he would get the race seat at Toro Rosso for the start of the 2017 season, he had to wait a little longer before making his race debut.
“To be awarded a drive at Red Bull Racing from 2019 is a dream come true for me, I’m so excited to be joining this top team," he said. "It has been my goal to race for this Team since I joined the Red Bull Junior Driver Programme in 2013, and this incredible opportunity is another step forward in my ambition to win Grands Prix and compete for World Championships.
"Red Bull has always looked to fight for championships or victories and that’s what I want. I’m a really competitive guy and when I do something it’s always to fight for the best and top positions," the Frenchman added.
Gasly has impressed this season, scoring a best finish of fourth place at the Bahrain Grand Prix. He has scored 26 of Toro Rosso's 28 points this year and will bring added Honda knowledge to Red Bull, who will make a power switch to the Japanese manufacturer one year after its junior squad.
“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. I’m looking forward to rewarding the faith that Dietrich Mateshitz, Christian Horner and Dr Helmut Marko have placed in me.
"The first phase of that is to keep pushing for ultimate performance and the best results in 2018 that I can achieve for my team, Toro Rosso." he continued. "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 amazing 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."
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner added: "Since Pierre first stepped into a Formula 1 seat with Toro Rosso less than a year ago he has proved the undoubted talent that Red Bull has nurtured since his early career. His stellar performances this year at the Honda-powered team, in only his first full season in Formula 1, have only enhanced his reputation as one of the most exciting young drivers in motorsport and we look forward to Pierre bringing his speed, skill and attitude to the team in 2019.
"While our immediate focus remains fully on achieving our best result in the 2018 World Championship, we look forward to competing in 2019 with Max and Pierre at the wheel of Red Bull Racing.”