'Urgent' need for Gasly at AlphaTauri denied 2021 Red Bull chance - Marko

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Only an "urgent" need for Pierre Gasly at AlphaTauri ruled out a possible promotion back to Red Bull for 2021, Helmut Marko claims.

The Frenchman has been in brilliant form all season, of course claiming victory at Monza as well as matching the number of points he scored at Red Bull in the first 12 races of last year.

And Gasly is in a great position again to add to his tally at Imola after claiming fourth on the grid in qualifying on Saturday.

“For me, it’s a great day,” he commented. “I did my best qualifying for the team, P4 I think was also my best in Red Bull, so it’s my best ever in Formula 1, and to do it in Imola, is also very special.

“Obviously for me, I did this special helmet for Ayrton because I’ve always been a big, big fan of Senna since I was a kid.

"He was one of my idols, and it was important for me to do it here, but also for all the team, because they are only 15 kilometres from this track. So it’s a great start to the weekend.”

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Looking ahead to the race, Gasly is hopeful of maintaining his start position.

“It’s so tight in the midfield – I think from P4 to P10 is like three, four-tenths, so it will be important to keep position at the start,” he explained.

“I expect a tough battle with Daniel [Ricciardo] with Charles [Leclerc] and all the other guys, but I think we are in a good position; P4 is probably the best position we can start from so we need to keep it and try to get as many points as we can.”

Gasly's results, combined with Alex Albon's struggles at Red Bull, had led to suggestions he should get a second chance alongside Max Verstappen next year.

However, Red Bull bosses made it clear that was not an option, and indeed he was confirmed at AlphaTauri for next season earlier this week.

“I have nothing against Mr Gasly,” Marko insisted at Imola. “He drives better than ever. We just urgently need him for AlphaTauri.

“Our AlphTauri clothing line is a project in which a lot of money is being invested and sales have risen noticeably since Gasly’s victory at Monza and his other excellent performances.

“For the strategy we have I need a very strong driver, especially if [Yuki] Tsunoda is a rookie in the car next year,” he added.

“Gasly is an essential part of our company philosophy, we have given him a raise and the promise that we will talk again at the end of 2021.”