Pierre Gasly joins Max Verstappen at Red Bull F1 team

Young Frenchman to replace Ricciardo at Red Bull

The Frenchman only made his Formula One debut at the Malaysian Grand Prix last October, but has scored 26 points for Toro Rosso this year, with a best finish of fourth in Bahrain.

Red Bull has confirmed that Pierre Gasly will join Max Verstappen at its Formula 1 team next season, as a replacement for Renault-bound Daniel Ricciardo.

Pierre Gasly says he was wearing only his underwear when he found out he will drive for Red Bull next year. "Of course when I came in to the Red Bull Junior programme that was the target, to drive in Formula One for this team, so I was just so so happy and had so much excitement".

Gasly won the GP2 (now Formula Two) title in 2016 and made his F1 debut with Toro Rosso in Malaysia late past year before starting his first full season in March.

The 22-year-old Gasly, who now drives for Red Bull's junior team Toro Rosso, will line up alongside Max Verstappen after Ricciardo leaves for Renault at the end of the 2018 campaign.

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Gasly will also bring a season's experience with Honda engines, which Red Bull will adopt for 2019. We've actually had a couple of close battles - sometimes good for me, sometimes not so good, but we really enjoyed that time. Red Bull has always looked to fight for championships or victories and that's what I want. He started karting at the age of six before advancing to single-seater cars, winning a first title in Eurocop Formula Renault 2.0 in 2013 before being recruited by Red Bull and winning a GP2 title in 2016. I'm looking forward to rewarding the faith that Dietrich Mateschitz, 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, Scuderia Toro Rosso". 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 wonderful commitment and support, which I know will continue for the rest of this season.

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. "My focus now is to do everything I can to give them a season to celebrate".

Red Bull's confirmation of Gasly means it will need to find at least one new driver to place at Toro Rosso next season, though Hartley may yet earn a stay of execution because of the lack of options.

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