Monday, 20 august 2018, 15:44 , by Matthew Scott
Pierre Gasly has targeted grand prix and world championship glory after securing a "dream come true" switch to Red Bull in 2019. Gasly will partner Max Verstappen in an interesting campaign for the Milton Keynes squad as they embark on a new relationship with Honda.
The Frenchman had emerged as the strong favourite to replace Daniel Ricciardo when the Australian's shock move to Renault was confirmed, after impressing with Red Bull's sister team Toro Rosso.
Gasly has picked up vital experience driving with the Honda power unit with the Faenza squad this season and his promotion was confirmed on Monday, five days after his rival for the seat, Carlos Sainz Jr, was confirmed as a McLaren driver in 2019.
He said: "To be awarded a drive at Aston Martin Red Bull Racing from 2019 is a dream come true for me, I'm so excited to be joining this top team.
"It has been my goal to race for this team since I joined the Red Bull Junior Driver Programme in 2013, and this incredible opportunity is another step forward in my ambition to win grands prix and compete for world championships.
"Red Bull has always looked to fight for championships or victories and that's what I want. I'm a really competitive guy and when I do something it's always to fight for the best and top positions.
"As hugely exciting a moment as this is, I am fully aware of the challenge this special opportunity offers me and the expectations that faces any driver at Aston Martin Red Bull Racing.
"I'm looking forward to rewarding the faith that Dietrich Mateschitz, Christian Horner and Dr Helmut Marko have placed in me."
Gasly caught the eye with a mature drive to fourth place at this year's Bahrain Grand Prix - the best result achieved by a Honda-powered car since the Japanese marque's return to F1 - with additional top-10 finishes in Monaco and Hungary furthering his cause.
"The first phase of that is to keep pushing for ultimate performance and the best results in 2018 that I can achieve for my team, Scuderia Toro Rosso," he said.
"I wish to thank Franz Tost and everyone at Toro Rosso and the factory in Faenza for giving me the golden opportunity of a drive in Formula 1 and their amazing commitment and support, which I know will continue for the rest of this season.
"My focus now is to do everything I can to give them a season to celebrate."