The AlphaTauri driver will not face reporters’ questions on Thursday after the team announced: “Following doctors advice, Pierre Gasly will not be on track today as he’s currently unwell.”

There is no mention of whether he will be fit to drive in Practice on Friday. Liam Lawson is their reserve driver on standby.

Mick Schumacher's F1 future - STAY or GO?

The Frenchman has emerged as the key target for Alpine to fill their F1 2023 driver line-up after the exit of Fernando Alonso to Aston Martin, and the loss of Oscar Piastri to McLaren.

Esteban Ocon is already signed up so Alpine, the French team, are targeting a line-up of two French drivers - admittedly a duo who haven’t always had the best of relationships.

But this significant switch for the F1 2023 season hinges on American IndyCar driver Colton Herta’s ability to land a superlicence, enabling him to take Gasly’s AlphaTauri seat.

Christian Horner, the Red Bull team principal, said about the situation at their sister team AlphaTauri: “That’s the key element.

“We aren’t going to replace Pierre unless we have something exciting to put in that car.”