Pierre Gasly’s failure to win the GP2 championship partly explains his failure to break into F1 for 2017.
That is the hint of Dr Helmut Marko, the architect of Red Bull’s F1 driver programme who recently decided to keep Daniil Kvyat alongside Carlos Sainz at the junior team Toro Rosso for another year.
Asked if Toro Rosso’s unusually experienced lineup for 2017 demonstrates that there is not enough young talent pushing through, Marko agrees: “I don’t know if it’s a coincidence or a trend.
“But the more you look down in the lower categories, the sadder it becomes,” he told Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport.
So for now, Toro Rosso has Kvyat, who is awaiting a second chance to be promoted to Red Bull Racing, and Sainz, who arguably now deserves his first.
But Marko said the pair should not give up on their chances.
“Motor sport is dangerous,” he said.
“I don’t hope for it, but something can always happen in terms of illness or something like what happened with Alonso in testing. So if this happens, we want to have good reserves, and we have that at Toro Rosso.
“The other reason is that Toro Rosso will also have the Renault engine next year, so it will be a good car. So we want to have two top drivers.”
As for French 20-year-old Gasly, who has hit out at Red Bull’s decision to overlook him for now, Marko said: “Gasly is young. He can still wait.
“It’s not a mistake if he doesn’t come up yet. Additionally, he could have had the title in GP2 three times if he had made fewer mistakes,” he added.