Find­ing the stars of to­mor­row, to­day

F1 Racing - - IN­SIDER -

Pierre Gasly is 18. He was born in Rouen, France, and is cur­rently driv­ing for Ar­den Mo­tor­sport in For­mula Re­nault 3.5

Who is he?

He’s a grad­u­ate of the French rac­ing schol­ar­ship sys­tem Au­tosport Academy. He grad­u­ated to sin­gle-seaters at the age of 15 af­ter a mod­er­ately suc­cess­ful kart­ing ca­reer, hav­ing fin­ished run­ner-up in the Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship.

What’s he been do­ing re­cently?

His first sea­son in sin­gle-seaters was im­pres­sive – he fin­ished third in the French F4 cham­pi­onship. Mov­ing up to For­mula Re­nault 2.0 for 2012 proved less fruit­ful – he ended the year in tenth, with one pole po­si­tion and two podium fin­ishes to his name, and failed to se­cure a place on Red Bull’s young driver pro­gramme. A change of team to Tech 1 Rac­ing (who pro­pelled Daniel Ric­cia­rdo to sec­ond place in For­mula Re­nault 3.5 in 2010) was a cat­a­lyst for suc­cess in 2013, and he took three wins en route to the driv­ers’ ti­tle. From there he se­cured Red Bull back­ing to join Ar­den Mo­tor­sport in For­mula Re­nault 3.5 for 2014.

How good is he?

In FR 3.5 – it­self strug­gling to fill the grid, and due to be ‘re­booted’ next year – he has not quite found his feet. He’s had four podium fin­ishes this year, but calami­ties at Mos­cow Race­way and the Nür­bur­gring have left him a dis­tant third in the cham­pi­onship with three dou­ble-header rounds to go.

Will we see him in F1?

Of the cur­rent mem­bers of Red Bull’s young driver pro­gramme, it is Car­los Sainz Jr who is next in line for a For­mula 1 break, which may come at Cater­ham this year (see story op­po­site). To hold onto his Red Bull sup­port, Pierre will need a strong fin­ish to the year.

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