Ross Brawn believes that Pierre Gasly will depart the Red Bull company if he doesn't secure another promotion to the Red Bull team.
Gasly will stay on at AlphaTauri for 2022, with Red Bull opting to keep the Frenchman at their sister team while retaining Sergio Perez in the second seat at the senior team.
Gasly revealed over the Dutch Grand Prix weekend that he did find himself questioning why he hadn't done enough to secure a re-promotion to the senior squad, during what has been a stellar year for him after an already very strong 2020, especially given that Perez continues to struggle alongside Max Verstappen.
Gasly has now earned the backing of Formula 1 Managing Director Ross Brawn, who believes his loyalty to Red Bull may waver if another team comes knocking during 2022.
"Pierre is acquiring a growing fan club in F1 and I would count myself as a member," Brawn wrote in his latest column for Formula 1's official website.
Referring to Gasly's recovery after struggling at the senior team during 2019 and being dropped back to Toro Rosso, Brawn added: "For him to come back from such a difficult blow after being dropped by Red Bull from their works team and return to win his first race and perform as consistently and strongly as he does with a car which won't be as good as the works team is fantastic.
"It is a real credit to him that he's stayed committed.
"Something will happen for him in the future. He won't be able to stay in the family if an opportunity to return to the Red Bull works team isn't coming. I think he's too good for that. I think an opportunity will come at some stage. He's doing a brilliant job."
But Brawn believes that the second seat at Red Bull could be something of a poisoned chalice, due to Verstappen's strengths and the team's focus on the Dutch driver, something that appears to be borne out by the experienced Perez's struggles.
"We're seeing that nobody can sit with Max at the same team. It's a compounding effect," he said.
"I saw it with Michael Schumacher and his teammates. The difference between two drivers in the same team can be small, but somehow it gets multiplied because of the frustration of never being able to close that gap to these truly exceptional drivers.
"You end up trying too hard or overcompensating and that pushes you back.
"We saw it with Pierre and Alex Albon and we're seeing it with Sergio. Max is just exceptional and coming to terms with that with a driver in the same team is challenging."
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