Carlos Sainz’s move to McLaren for 2019 has reportedly opened the door for Pierre Gasly to step up to Red Bull next year. ESPN claim the Torro Rosso pilot is now the clear favourite to take the seat vacated by Daniel Ricciardo when he switches to Renault for next year.
Ricciardo has taken Sainz’s seat alongside Nico Hulkenberg and Gasly, who has finished in the points three times this year, will fancy his chances of getting the call to partner Mex Verstappen.
The Frenchman, 22, finished no better than 12th in his five Grand Prix drives for Toro Rosso at the back end of 2017, but has shown a marked improvement this year.
Gasly scored 26 points in 12 starts, leaving him currently sitting 13th in the Driver’s Championship standings.
The identity of Sainz’s 2019 team-mate remains unclear with McLaren test and reserve driver Lando Norris sensing that his chance could come sooner than many had expected.
The 18-year-old from Bristol, who currently lies second in the Formula Two championship with Carlin, tweeted a GIF with the word: “Interesting” following the news of Sainz’s switch.
However, Lawrence Stroll’s recent acquisition of Force India and the likely move his son Lance will make from Williams to that team next season means either Esteban Ocon or Sergio Perez will probably be looking for a race seat elsewhere next season.