Horner - Graduate Gasly on the path of his illustrious predecessors

Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso

Red Bull Racing's Christian Horner says Pierre Gasly's promotion to the senior bull outfit follows the same youth-based philosophy that enabled his successful predecessors to shine.

The 22-year-old Frenchman was announced on Monday as Daniel Ricciardo's successor at Red Bull Racing following the Aussie's surprise move to Renault for 2019.

"Pïerre Gasly is another product of the [RedBull] junior team, it's where Sebastian Vettel came from, where Daniel himself came from, and Max Verstappen," Horner told Motorsport.com.

"The Red Bull philosophy has always been to invest in youth. Without that, arguably those talents might not have ever been seen.

"And in Pierre Gasly we see another bright talent that warrants the seat within Red Bull Racing, and I'm sure he'll do very well," added Horner.

"He's already been our test and reserve driver, he's already had a strong season in his debut season with Toro Rosso, he's the Formula 2 champion from 2016 so he's got all the right credentials.

"Toro Rosso is a great training ground for these young drivers. We've seen it with Vettel, with Ricciardo, with Sainz and Verstappen, and now with Gasly. He'll be the next graduate.

"Red Bull's philosophy of backing youth - he's been on the programme for six or seven years - pays off, but without that these guys wouldn’t be getting the chance."

Gasly's arrival in F1 at the end of last season had been preceded by a period of doubt in 2016, Red Bull motorsport boss Helmut Marko delayed the driver's promotion after his championship winning year in F1.

Gasly was sent to Japan to compete in Super Formula, but made the best of the experience, restoring his image in the eyes of the all-important Marko.

"When I was young, he demanded a lot from me," Gasly remembers.

"But I mastered every challenge as best I could. I wanted to show him that I'm a real fighter, that I never give up my dream and that I deserve this place."

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