Pierre Gasly is only keeping his seat at Red Bull for now because of a lack of alternatives claims outspoken 1997 Formula 1 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve, who thinks Red Bull has been surprisingly lenient on the struggling French driver in 2019.

“It’s more than difficult,” he said when asked about Gasly’s current situation by MN Italia, “He’s really, really far away, and not at the level he should be.”

Amid intense pressure and rumours of an imminent ousting, Gasly took a step forward at Silverstone but 48-year-old Villeneuve doubts the situation will change fundamentally.

“Why should it?” said the French Canadian. “He’s lucky to still be there. Red Bull and Helmut Marko have been much more aggressive with their drivers in the past.

“It just shows that they don’t see anyone emerging in their ranks, so they don’t know who would replace him.”

Indeed, Villeneuve does not even think the more mature Daniil Kvyat would be a good replacement for Gasly, “They’ve already had him, so why would they do that? That’s not the way to go.”

“Driving in a big and a small team are very different things. Some drivers are incredible in small teams but not in big teams. It even happens with drivers who have ten years of experience,” Villeneuve added.

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