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Gasly: Driver performance should be 'only criteria' to reach F1

Written by  Sep 13, 2018

Pierre Gasly has expressed frustration at the plight currently suffered by several talented drivers who are struggling for a seat on the Formula 1 grid.

For the Frenchman, his rise has been quick and successful as he prepares to fulfil his Red Bull dream in 2019, however, several drivers he has raced against both in F1 and in GP2 have been or could be left out in the cold.

“Clearly the issue is there,” Gasly told Autosport. “I don’t know if it is getting more and more difficult, but clearly we are seeing at the moment with Esteban [Ocon] that no one knows what he is going to do next year.

“I also raced with Antonio Giovinazzi in F2, who is a really talented guy, hard worker and he deserves a shot in F1. We see George Russell as well.

“[Even] for me, after winning GP2, I had a year in Japan and it was the same for Stoffel Vandoorne, and we see it is pretty difficult.

“I am not the guy who can change things, but clearly F1 should look at finding a way not to make it easier but a bit more fair sometimes, [so] when a proper talent deserves to be in F1, to make sure that he stays there.

“I think performance should be the only criteria to be on the grid.”

The introduction of a superlicence points system following Max Verstappen's rapid rise in 2014 was meant to be a remedy which also stopped drivers simply with deep pockets from getting an advantage.

However, there are more examples of drivers with both such as Lance Stroll, who scored the superlicence points with his European F3 title in 2016 and has the financial power of his father Lawrence.

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Ocon is the current highest profile driver that could fall victim to the situation, with the likes of Vandoorne and Giovinazzi seen as failing to meet the grade when given their opportunities.

“There are still hopes, yes, but less and less, as you know,” he said of his 2019 outlook. "That is what I am disappointed [about] at the moment – to see that it is not only results that come into play.

“It has to be other things, and that is what I am disappointed about – to be in that situation because it is hard to believe that I was in a great position two months ago and things have come that way now.

“I am fighting hard to do the best I can every race and arriving here, not knowing what I will do next year is hard to swallow obviously.”

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