Marko also defends himself against the allegations made by Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto, among others, that Red Bull is trying to obtain special preference for its candidate: “It’s not about twisting or introducing a new rule, as some competitors claim. But it’s all about a place and of course everyone fights there,” said Marko.
Drivers’ market: tug of war for Gasly and Herta
A curious situation: Mutual favors are rare in the shark tank of Formula 1, that one competitor helps the other anyway. What sounds like a highly unusual process at first glance makes sense at second glance: Alpine is anything but altruistic.
The French want to free Pierre Gasly from AlphaTauri. But they only get their compatriot for a high fee and if Red Bull’s B-Team can commit the right replacement candidate in return: The Thai majority shareholders have chosen Herta as the shower manufacturer’s candidate, who, in addition to his driving talent on the important US market is intended to function literally as a can opener.
Spicy: Ironically, Herta completed his first F1 test in Portimao with the team from Woking in July, and was also on the shortlist for the racing cockpit alongside Lando Norris, who ultimately got Piastri. Because the Australian fell out of favor with Alpine due to his departure, Herta is now benefiting from it elsewhere.
Villeneuve warns: Just not Ocon and Gasly
With a Gasly obligation, Alpine boss Laurent Rossi hopes to at least appease those responsible for Renault and the French public: Two Grand Prix winners from the ‘Grande Nation’ in their own ranks, that would finally make the sports car manufacturer from Dieppe make the French national team Formula 1.
But there is a catch: Ocon and Gasly come from the same region, are the same age and have been bitter favorite rivals since karting days: “The two can’t stand each other. Just don’t bring them together!”, therefore judges ex-world champion Jacques Villeneuve . The French Canadian doesn’t think anything of Alpine’s idea at all: “It doesn’t make any sense, especially since Gasly is under contract and you have to move mountains to get him.”
The latter seems to be completely irrelevant to Alpine after the driver fiasco of the summer. This is proven not least by the test for Hertra and competitor AlphaTauri.