Pierre Gasly
Pierre Gasly (R) will partner Max Verstappen (L) at Red Bull Racing in 2019. In this picture, Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing and Gasly of France and Scuderia Toro Rosso talk on the drivers parade befire the Formula One Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring on July 29, 2018 in Budapest, Hungary. Mark Thompson/Getty Images

The Formula 1 driver market jigsaw is slowly but surely falling into place with Red Bull Racing becoming the third team on the grid to confirm their driver lineup for the 2019 season.

The Austrian team only had Max Verstappen confirmed as their driver for the upcoming campaign, but announced Monday that Pierre Gasly will be joining him as Daniel Ricciardo’s replacement.

The Australian driver shocked Red Bull and the F1 world when he rejected an offer of a new contract from his then employers to sign with Renault Sport F1, who are not the team that can fulfill Ricciardo’s ambition to challenge for titles in the near future.

The Red Bull vacancy was certainly a coveted one owing to them being one of the top three teams on the grid at the moment – title contenders Mercedes and Ferrari are the only teams ahead of them currently. There were a few drivers linked with moves, mainly Fernando Alonso.

However, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner ruled out the Spaniard - who has since announced he will be leaving F1 at the end of the season - and indicated they will continue their policy of promoting from within the junior program.

Gasly has impressed since entering F1 with Scuderia Toro Rosso, the feeder team for the Red Bull team. He joined them midway through the 2017 season, and in 2018 has stepped up his performances with impressive drives in Bahrain and Hungary.

Moreover, with Red Bull switching to Honda power in 2019, he will lend them valuable experience, having driven with the Japanese engine for Toro Rosso this season. The Frenchman was delighted with the opportunity and admits it is a step in the right direction to fulfill his goals of winning a Grand Prix.

“To be awarded a drive at Aston Martin Red Bull Racing from 2019 is a dream come true for me, I’m so excited to be joining this top Team. It has been my goal to race for this Team since I joined the Red Bull Junior Driver Programme in 2013, and this incredible opportunity is another step forward in my ambition to win Grands Prix and compete for World Championships,” Gasly told his new team’s official site.

“Red Bull has always looked to fight for championships or victories and that’s what I want. I’m a really competitive guy and when I do something it’s always to fight for the best and top positions,” Max Verstappen’s new teammate added.

Ferrari now are the only top team yet to confirm their driver lineup for the 2019 season after Mercedes retained Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas for next season. The reigning champions were the first team to reveal their lineup – just ahead of the German Grand Prix in July.

Sebastian Vettel is confirmed for 2019, having signed a three-year deal with Ferrari midway through the 2017 season. But the identity of his teammate still remains a mystery.

Kimi Raikkonen has three months left on his deal with the Italian team and is still clueless if he will be retained. The Finn is keen to stay, but his place is under threat from Ferrari academy driver Charles Leclerc, who has impressed in his debut F1 season with Sauber.

Initially reports said the Monegasque driver will take Raikkonen’s place, but five consecutive podiums later, it looks like Ferrari will also retain their 2018 driver pairing for 2019. The 2007 world champion is hoping his future will be resolved quickly after admitting his family is also waiting with baited breath to discover if he will remain a Ferrari driver for at least one more season.

“Not just in my own life,” Raikkonen said, as per RaceFans.net, “but also my family, they are keen to know.”

“Obviously the team knows my side of the story,” the Finn added. “It’s their decision and that’s how it’s been many years in the past. It’s been no secret that I have one-year deals for often.”