Pierre Gasly has been released by Red Bull and freed to end his contract with the junior team, AlphaTauri, and will move to Alpine next season in Formula One.
Gasly will join Esteban Ocon — a childhood friend — and will give Alpine an all-French driver lineup for 2023.
Gasly has won only once in F1, the 2020 Italian Grand Prix.
“I'm extremely excited about the new chapter in my life,” Gasly said in a statement.
Ocon answered with a tweet: “We were just two little kids from Normandy with an impossible dream. Welcome to the Alpine family, Pierrot.”
Gasly has been a development driver for Red Bull. But Red Bull did not allow him to drive the big car — manned by Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez — which meant he felt he was held as a kind of “hostage" with the organization.
The changes announced Saturday at the Japanese Grand Prix in Suzuka are a continuation of free agency in Formula One triggered when Fernando Alonso announced a move a from Alpine to Aston Martin.
The opening at AlphaTauri will be filled by Nyck de Vries. The 27-year-old Dutch driver has only a single F1 race under his belt. He drove as a stand-in for Alex Albon of Williams at this year's Italian Grand Prix.
He finished in ninth place, a surprise. Some may see him as an eventual teammate of Verstappen on the main Red Bull team.
“I'm extremely excited to join Scuderia AlphaTauri for 2023," de Vries said. “And I want to thank both Red Bull and the team for giving me the opportunity to drive in F1.”