Gasly to replace Ricciardo at Red Bull next season

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The 22-year-old Gasly, who now drives for Red Bull's junior team Toro Rosso, will line up alongside Max Verstappen after Australian Ricciardo leaves for Renault at the end of the 2018 campaign. Outside F1 I am discovering other series outside motorsport which give you different challenges and makes you more complete driver.

"I'm not sure it would be the healthiest thing for the team for Fernando to join".

Alonso said he did not expect to return to F1.

I know a lot of people are probably like "I don't know", but I feel comfortable within myself and the decision I've made.

He told a news conference ahead of this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix that "it was a decision that probably I started thinking about past year". I feel strong, feel a good level and want to say bye-bye to this sport when I am strong, not when I am not competitive or have no place to go.

"[Ricciardo] has also been sold a role that goes beyond that of a simple pilot, but that of someone who participates in building a team", said Abiteboul. He knows the Renault product very well from all the time he's spent with us.

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"That is what Red Bull is working on at the moment, and I am confident that they can deliver a auto which is capable of winning every race, we just need the whole package and we are working towards that".

"What they've done in the last two years encouraged me and developments made at the factory and what they are doing with their finances, where they are spending and the way they are doing it, showed me they want to win and try to get there as soon as possible".

"It was nothing to do with the driver decision", said Abiteboul.

He added: "I'm sad to move on, absolutely, but excited by the challenge at Renault".

Ferrari had been planning before the sudden death of former president Sergio Marchionne last month to promote Monegasque Charles Leclerc from Sauber, but the new management is said to have had a rethink.

In his first public appearance since making the call that sent shockwaves throughout the F1 world during the summer break, Ricciardo was grilled about his decision to turn his back on the team he has raced for since 2014.

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"That sounds easy saying it like that but it wasn't".

Ricciardo also refuted the suggestion his move was down to a fear of staying alongside current teammate Max Verstappen, something suggested by Red Bull boss Christian Horner after the news became official.

Ricciardo's decision means a 10-year relationship with the Red Bull company will end after the season's final race in November.

"I never said I was unloved".

"I don't think he was impressed by Red Bull's communications strategy, vis a vis Renault, vis a vis Honda, and how flawless Honda is", Abiteboul told Motorsport.com in Spa. Get Sky Sports F1 - the home of every race weekend LIVE in 2018.

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