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F1 News: Pierre Gasly says Alpine deal was not to "escape" Red Bull – Sports Illustrated

Pierre Gasly explains his departure from the Red Bull programme.
Pierre Gasly's switch to Alpine has been described as a critical career move, but the Frenchman has made clear his decision to switch was not to "escape" Red Bull. 
Many have described Gasly's position within the AlphaTauri squad as a dead-end, especially with Red Bull announcing a new multi-year contract for Perez at the start of the season. 
After an underwhelming stint with Red Bull in 2019 (which saw Gasly replaced mid-season), the 26-year-old has produced impressive results competing in the midfield with AlphaTauri. 
Whilst many continue to debate if Gasly is capable of matching the best in Formula 1, there has been little disagreement that his prospects with Red Bull were very limited. 
Alonso's departure from Alpine (alongside Piastri's move to McLaren) provided a crucial opening for the Frenchman to join a works team with prospects of climbing the field. 
Alpine is still far from competing for consistent victories and podiums, but the French team certainly has greater resources and potential than the likes of AlphaTauri. 
This is not to dismiss AlphaTauri's competitiveness in recent seasons, with the Italian squad securing a handful of podiums across the 2019-2021 seasons. 
With that said, this year has demonstrated the limitations of an independent team like AlphaTauri, which lacks the financial muscle to match the top teams. 
Still, when speaking to RacingNews365.com, Gasly made clear that he wanted all parties to benefit from his Alpine move:
"It was not just a simple deal because, obviously, it's not like Helmut [Marko] or Franz [Tost] would let me go without conditions. 
"They need a fast and competitive driver to replace me…
"It was important for me not to just leave Alpha Tauri and Red Bull and escape from the programme."
Gasly might dismiss the idea that he "escaped" from Red Bull, but there is undoubtedly a sense that his contract with Alpine marks a new stage in his career. 
There is an opportunity to help Alpine progress and make meaningful steps towards the top three teams currently dominating the podium positions. 

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