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Red Bull chief rules out losing Pierre Gasly to Alpine and issues hands-off warning

Red Bull adviser Helmut Marko ruled out the possibility of allowing Pierre Gasly to join Alpine if the offer was extended for the 2023 season.

Alpine may well be on the hunt for a new driver, given the unexpected events of the past 10 days. If they were surprised by the announcement that Fernando Alonso would be leaving for Aston Martinthey were, by the way – then they were flabbergasted by what came next.

For the French team the decision was simple – they would promote reserve Oscar Piastri to a race seat a year earlier than planned. But the F2 champion turned down the chance almost immediately, telling fans he would not be racing for Alpine next year and instead seeking a switch to midfield rivals McLaren.

Both teams feel they have valid contracts with the driver, who has made it clear he sees his future away from Enstone. Alpine remain convinced that they have the legal standing to keep Piastri, but must make alternative arrangements in case McLaren win any future legal battle.

Esteban Ocon's future is secure, as his current deal runs until the end of the 2024 season. Alpine say there are up to 14 drivers in contention for their other seat if Piastri does not race for them next year, and one of them is believed to be Gasly.

The links make sense – if nothing else, the prospect of a French team having two drivers of the same nationality would be enticing for the team. From Gasly's perspective, it would represent a step up from a struggling AlphaTauri team, and an escape from the Red Bull stable after his path to the top team was blocked by Sergio Perez's contract extension.

Red Bull are determined to keep hold of Gasly (Getty Images)

The 26-year-old made it clear after the Mexican's new deal that he would be considering his options. But AlphaTauri confirmed in June that he will continue to drive for them in 2023.

And Marko, who oversees Red Bull's driver development programme, has made it clear that there is no option within that contract allowing the driver to quit early. "There is no exit clause for Gasly. There was none before the summer break and there will be none after the summer break," he told SPORT1 in Germany.

AlphaTauri chief Franz Tost is also keen to keep hold of Gasly, and added: "It makes no sense for Red Bull to let Pierre go. If a Red Bull driver fails, there is no other adequate driver who can step in. Only Gasly can do that."

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