Pierre Gasly reveals 'shock' at Red Bull promotion
French youngster to replace Renault-bound Daniel Ricciardo
Last Updated: 21/08/18 12:01pm
Pierre Gasly has admitted he was "shocked" when told by Red Bull he was being promoted to a full race seat in 2019.
The 22-year-old Gasly, who currently drives for Toro Rosso, will partner Max Verstappen next season, replacing the Renault-bound Daniel Ricciardo.
The Frenchman first learnt of his promotion in an unexpected phone call from Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko.
"Dr Marko called me first of all to tell me that Daniel was leaving for Renault and that they would be making their decision on the 2019 driver at a later date," Gasly told the Red Bull website. "So he told me to just enjoy the summer break and that they weren't in a rush.
"So I just continued to enjoy my holidays, that time I was in Greece. After that holiday I came back to the south of France with my friends last week and he called me back. He said 'just to let you know we've made our decision and we'd like you to race alongside Max in 2019'."
Gasly continued: "When Helmut started the call with me I was in my underwear...When the call ended I ran around the house shouting to my mates and they all jumped in the pool straight away!
"There were a lot of emotions as well and I was just so shocked. I didn't really know what I was saying to my mates, so I jumped in the pool and celebrated with my mates and family."
Gasly has been in F1 for less than a year having only made his debut in the sport last September.
But his promotion to Red Bull means he will fill one of the most coveted seats in Formula 1 next year.
"Being team-mates and mates with Max next season is really cool, because we get on really well and we've known each other for a really long time," said Gasly.
"We used to race against each other in karting in 2010 as a junior, so we've already raced together, but not for the same team. We've actually had a couple of close battles, sometimes good for me, sometimes not so good, but we really enjoyed that time.
"We really respect each other a lot as drivers, but also as friends, so I'm really excited to join him in the team with him. As we have a strong friendship it will be only a positive for the team."
F1 will be back from its summer break with the Belgian GP, live on Sky Sports F1. The race begins at 2.10pm on Sunday, August 26. Get Sky Sports F1 - the home of every race weekend LIVE in 2018.