Season five of the hit Netflix series was aired last week, with Ricciardo again a leading character given his exit from McLaren and Formula 1 last year, and subsequently taking on a reserve driver role with Red Bull.
With no Ricciardo in F1 this season, it led to producer Paul Martin expressing his sadness the 33-year-old would not be involved.
Martin suggested that without Ricciardo “there probably wouldn't have been a Drive to Survive” given he was the first driver that was spoken to about the making of such a series, and the first to invite the cameras inside his home.
“I felt very emotional with him leaving,” said Martin, who feels Gasly could now fill the void left by Ricciardo.
Martin added that he equally felt “emotionally attached” to Gasly given the series has “seen him go through some incredible lows”, including his Red Bull demotion and the death of close friend Anthoine Hubert in an F2 race in Belgium in 2019.
With Gasly again driving a competitive car with Alpine this season, Martin said: “He's grown on screen as a driver and as a person, so I think he'll be someone who will really fill the gap that Daniel leaves.”
Gasly – F1 journey “intense” so far
Gasly has conceded to feeling flattered by such remarks as he gears up for his first season with Alpine and working alongside fellow Frenchman Esteban Ocon.
Ocon and Gasly have previously endured an up-and-down relationship as they grew up together in karting before a fallout that saw them become bitter rivals.
Only recently, Ocon said he and Gasly would never become best friends although naturally recognises the fact they have to work together to drive Alpine forward.
With regard to Martin's comments, Gasly said: “It's always nice to hear these sorts of things.
“So I just try to be myself, and then after they have got the content they use what they want to use.
“I think they've been quite good at showing a glimpse of my story and my ride in Formula 1 so far which has been pretty intense over the last five years.
“I'm sure there will be a lot more to talk about in the coming five years.
“But I think the main point was that we're going to miss Daniel, whether it's in Drive to Survive or whether it's in the paddock, we'll miss Daniel.”