Thursday, 09 august 2018, 10:35 , by Matthew Scott
Pierre Gasly has set his sights on a race seat with Red Bull, but is not jumping to conclusions after Daniel Ricciardo's departure from the team for 2019 was concerned. Ricciardo's jump to Renault opens up a spot alongside Max Verstappen that one of Gasly or Carlos Sainz Jr is expected to fill.
Red Bull are expected to promote from within in order to replace Ricciardo, leaving Toro Rosso's Gasly and Sainz - on loan to Renault - as their only realistic picks.
Gasly is reportedly favourite for the seat, given his experience driving the Honda power unit in 2018 with Toro Rosso - including impressive points-scoring finishes in Bahrain, Monaco and Hungary - but the Frenchman remains calm.
"My intention in the medium term is to make the leap to Red Bull because my goal is to fight for the championship," Gasly told Marca.
"But at this moment it is a great opportunity to be in Toro Rosso with Honda.
"I am very happy to be where I am, the only thing I think is to keep improving and the opportunities will come some day.
"It's just my first season in F1 and I'm 22 years old. Of course, I want to fight for the championship as soon as possible, but I am delighted to continue at Toro Rosso if they need me, to continue building experience and growing as a driver.
"I would like [a Red Bull seat] but I'm not thinking about it too much.
"I am happy with my season so far at Toro Rosso, I'm happy to be here. At the moment, nothing is decided, I think.
"It's a similar situation to Carlos. We're both waiting to see what happens."
Stepping up to Red Bull has not always been smooth, Daniil Kvyat's time in the senior team is a particularly cautionary tale, however Gasly is not concerned.
"If I'm fast, I'll have my chance," he added.
"I need to focus, make sure I'm fast and the rest will come.
"It depends how you see things. Look at Red Bull and all the drivers who did not reach the first team, or look at Verstappen, [Sebastian] Vettel, Ricciardo and the others who were successful."