Christian Horner says Red Bull remains committed to its junior driver and newly-crowned GP2 Series champion Pierre Gasly despite overlooking him for an F1 promotion in 2017.
Gasly wrapped up the spoils in the F1 feeder category during last weekend's Abu Dhabi finale, the Frenchman claiming a fourth win of the season around the Yas Marina Circuit as he got the better of Prema Racing team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi.
However, Gasly will not take a direct path to F1 in 2017 after Red Bull elected to re-sign Carlos Sainz and Daniil Kvyat at Toro Rosso.
With Gasly admitting after the weekend that he remains uncertain as to his 2017 plans, Red Bull team principal Horner still feels the 20 year-old remains destined for F1.
“Gasly has done a great job this year. It was good to see him win the GP2 championship. He has done important work for us and development work for us this year.
“There is not a seat available for him in F1 at the moment but he is the most senior member of the junior team, and is being retained by us because we rate him extremely highly. So whatever the future holds for him, F1 can still very much be part of that future.”