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Gasly "deserves a place in the top team", says Hamilton

NEWS STORY
07/09/2020

Just days after suggesting that Max Verstappen needs a stronger teammate if Red Bull is to challenge Mercedes for the Constructors' Championship, the world champion has said that, Monza winner, Pierre Gasly deserves a return to the Austrian outfit.

"I've gotten a bit of time to spend with Pierre," said the Briton. "We game a lot online every now and then. Huge congratulations to him.

"Just seeing his growth..." he continued. "When he was at Red Bull he was dropped, I think unfairly, he wasn't given the time to develop.

"He's now gone to the B-team and now he's beat the A-team from the B-team. That puts a big smile on my face because I think he truly deserves it. He deserves a place back in the top team.

"It's a great result for that team also," he added. "It's a young top three. Not the best of days for me but I still enjoyed it."

Promoted to Red Bull at the start of 2019, following the departure of Daniel Ricciardo, Gasly was dropped after just 12 races and returned to Toro Rosso.

As Alex Albon began to impress at Red Bull, so too Gasly seemed to flourish back at Faenza, never more so than in Brazil where he finished second.

While Gasly has continued to impress this season, regularly out-qualifying and out-performing teammate, Daniil Kvyat, Albon's form has been hit and miss, mainly due to his weakness in terms of one-lap pace.

Nonetheless, Christian Horner and Helmut Marko have been supportive of the youngster, who, other than Hamilton's comments, has taken a battering on social media.

"Pierre is just a really nice guy," said Hamilton in a subsequent Zoom call. I think he has a lot of talent. I don't think he was necessarily treated fairly at Red Bull when he got demoted. It's not easy for a driver when it happens, so I empathise with that.

"To then build the confidence up in a not necessarily as quick a team, to build the confidence up, and to come on out with some really great performances he's had this year already with that car, then get the win... it's not easy to do that.

"I'm really impressed, I think he's done a fantastic job and deserves the success and I hope it creates an opportunity for him going forward.

"There's also... he beat the team that demoted him, so that's definitely got to hurt for them."

Of course, it should be noted that on two occasions when Albon appeared set for a podium finish - Brazil last year and this year's season-opener - he was hit by a certain British driver at the wheel of a Mercedes.

Check out our Sunday gallery from Monza, here.

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