Pierre Gasly has spoken of his gratitude for Sebastian Vettel's support, having recalled an occasion where the four-time World Champion offered him some words of advice earlier in his career.
The two drivers crossed paths when Gasly joined Red Bull's junior programme in 2014 while racing in Formula Renault 3.5, when Vettel was in his final season with the Milton Keynes-based squad in Formula 1.
After going on to win the then-called GP2 championship in 2016, Gasly was initially unable to find an opportunity in F1 with either of Red Bull's teams for the following year, and he recalls seeking the advice of Vettel – who he says he has "always had so much respect for" – about the situation.
Gasly "very grateful" for Vettel's support
"I had the chance, when I entered into the Red Bull programme, to get closer to him for his last season in Red Bull, see how much effort [he made], see his work ethic inside the team, his dedication for the sport," Gasly told media, including RacingNews365.com.
"I always remember when I won my GP2 title and I didn't get promoted to Formula 1 straight away – I was in Singapore when this happened – I remember calling him one night and I just wanted like five minutes to get his opinion about it and get his view and try to get some advice on how to deal with the Red Bull situation.
"It turned out to be a one-and-a-half hour call. At the time it was like, 'You're an F1 driver racing for Ferrari – in your list of priorities, I'm very, very low,' but he still took 90 minutes to speak with me and advise me on how to cope with the situation, how to deal with Red Bull, gave me advice on how to make the situation progress.
"This I’ll always be very, very grateful for. Then after that, we always kind of kept quite a close relationship, had a couple of dinners together. I think he’s a fantastic driver, but also a great human being."
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Similarities between Vettel and Gasly
Gasly's only Formula 1 victory to date came at the 2020 Italian Grand Prix with the AlphaTauri team. Similarly, Vettel's debut F1 win also occurred at Monza with the same team – then known as Toro Rosso – back in 2008.
Following his win two years ago, Gasly says that Vettel called him to offer his congratulations.
"He told me he was pleased for France," Gasly explained.
"He was really pleased for me. I think we always got on very well together. We have some, I will say, similar traits of character, not all of them, but some are similar and I think that’s why we do have a lot of respect for each other."
Vettel announced prior to the Hungarian Grand Prix that he will retire from F1 at the end of the 2022 season, and Gasly thinks that the sport will "definitely miss him".
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