Red Bull Junior drivers have been heavily in the news of late and another one is making waves this Tuesday. Pierre Gasly, a rising 18-year-old French driver, will step up to GP2 with Caterham starting this weekend at Monza. He steps up from the World Series by Renault, the usual home for Red Bull Juniors.
Per NBCSN’s F1 insider and pit reporter Will Buxton, Gasly is the first Red Bull Junior driver to race in GP2 since Sebastien Buemi in 2008.
Gasly replaces Tom Dillmann, who had filled in for Alexander Rossi following Rossi’s departure from the Caterham GP2 squad earlier this year. Rio Haryanto continues in the team’s second car, as he has all season.
“Of course I am really excited to be driving in GP2 with Caterham Racing. It is a new Series for me and a great opportunity to race and gain experience in a different car and on Formula One circuits,” Gasly said in a team release.
“For sure the GP2 car is going to be different to drive, it has more power than the Formula Renault 3.5 but has less aero. I will have to adapt my driving style, but that is my job and I will try to do this as quickly as I can.”
The Caterham GP2 squad is not under the same ownership and direction as the Caterham F1 Team, which has gone through an ownership change this year.
And on that front, the identity of the second Caterham driver for Monza this weekend remains in flux. Andre Lotterer could return after his Spa debut, Kamui Kobayashi seems less likely while youngsters Carlos Sainz Jr. and Roberto Merhi – the former of which is another Red Bull Junior – have also been linked to the seat provided they accrue enough mileage to secure their F1 Superlicense.