Pierre Gasly says he has no intention of serving as Max Verstappen's number-two driver after swapping Toro Rosso for Red Bull in 2019. The Frenchman's graduation comes as a result of Daniel Ricciardo's move to Renault, the Australian having reportedly grown concerned over Verstappen's increased standing in the team.
Gasly has been under the Red Bull umbrella since 2014 and made his F1 debut in 2017 for Toro Rosso, before dominating Brendon Hartley in his first full campaign last year.
He was selected ahead of Carlos Sainz to replace Ricciardo and will hope to emulate the recent successes of the Australian and Verstappen, with Red bull having celebrated race wins for both of their drivers in each of the last three seasons.
Although Gasly admits he will begin 2019 trying to get up to speed with Verstappen, he says he is not planning to simply support the Dutchman's ambitions.
"Being one of the best drivers right now will be a great challenge for me," Gasly told Motorsport-Total.
"It will take some time for me to be competitive, but I am not here to be the number two driver, that's not what I want or what I'm happy with.
"These things take some time, and Max is one of the fastest guys in the paddock, which is super exciting for me, because it brings you to a higher level.
"For sure, I'll be better over the course of the season."
Intrigue remains over Red Bull's prospects for 2019 after swapping Renault for Honda as their power unit supplier and Gasly's ambitions will be largely dictated by the car's performance.
He added: "If I have a car I can win with, I would like to, but if I have a car that is only good enough for the top five, that will be the goal."
GPFans is a multi-platform, multi-language brand dedicated to Formula One coverage. We bring you all the ins and outs of the sport, 24/7, everything from up-to-the-minute news and features to the latest viral stories and clips.
We believe that a new generation of exciting, outspoken drivers will make F1 more popular than ever before, and we want to give our users access to as much of their heroes as possible, on and off the track. From Lewis Hamilton to Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo to Sebastian Vettel, we provide in-depth analysis of every every Grand Prix in the season, from Australia to Abu Dhabi.
With Formula One under the new ownership of Liberty Media, how the sport is being covered is evolving, and GPFans will look to be at the heart of this progression into new media, as one of the fastest-growing sites covering the king of motorsports.