Racing for a bigger team gives Gasly a “much better feeling”

2023 F1 season

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Pierre Gasly says it is a “much better feeling” to be racing with a factory team after moving to Alpine for the 2023 season.

Gasly joined Alpine after being released from his contract at AlphaTauri. He began his career with Red Bull’s junior team in 2017, when it was known as Toro Rosso. He briefly joined the senior team in 2019, but his disappointing results prompted Red Bull to reverse his promotion.

Speaking to media including RaceFans at the launch of the Alpine A523 in London, Gasly admitted he was pleased to be racing for a larger team once again.

“It’s much better, I’m not going to lie,” Gasly said. “It’s definitely a much better feeling and a much more exciting feeling. So I’m excited.

“I take this very seriously. I’m a very competitive person and I really hope that we’re going to be able to carry the momentum that they have had over the last year and and close the gap to the big three during this year.”

Gasly had a contract to remain at AlphaTauri for 2023, but arrived at Alpine following unexpected developments in the driver market at midseason last year. Alpine lost both Fernando Alonso, who left to join Aston Martin, and his intended replacement Oscar Piastri, who moved to McLaren.

Alpine therefore approached AlphaTauri who released Gasly to join them alongside Esteban Ocon for the 2023 season. Gasly says he does not feel under an additional pressure to perform while replacing double world champion Alonso.

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“I literally don’t look at Fernando at all,” he said. “He’s done this career – an incredible career – and I’m just looking at myself and my own career. I want to be world champion one day. I want to win races. I want to bring Alpine to the top and that’s all I’m focusing on.

Alpine A523 liveries, 2023
Pictures: Alpine reveal A523 in regular livery and pink colours for first three races
“I think the team has learned a lot with Fernando, which is good, and will carry whatever they’ve taken from him going forward in the future. It’s up to us now with Esteban to work in the best way possible to keep that evolution and keep the progress we’ve been seeing over the last few years and close that gap with the top three.”

After completing a shakedown of the A532 at Silverstone with Ocon earlier in the week, Gasly will have just three days of pre-season testing in Bahrain before the season begins, which he will share with his team mate. He is confident that he will be fully up to speed quickly, despite the limited preparation time.

“If you ask me, I want to be 110% straight away from day one,” he said. “But then I’ve got to be objective and realistic that you never really know how much time it takes. Sometimes it’s a race. Sometimes it’s three races. Sometimes it just clicks straight away. So I’m just very open-minded about it.

“As I say, I feel very confident, very comfortable and the team has given me all the environments needed to feel at home and just to get feeling comfortable to be at my best potential for the first race.”

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2023 F1 season

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Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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3 comments on “Racing for a bigger team gives Gasly a “much better feeling””

  1. petebaldwin (@)
    17th February 2023, 13:20

    Makes sense. Alpha Tauri is all about learning and improving so you can get a Red Bull seat. It became fairly obvious that wasn’t going to happen for Gasly a while ago so he was in a weird situation where he wasn’t really wanted by the team but was there simply because there wasn’t anyone else ready to take his seat yet.

    Now he’s at a team where he can look forward and can make a statement. Ocon did pretty well against Alonso last year and if Gasly can come into Ocon’s team and beat him, it will tell us more about Gasly than any of his years at Alpha Tauri ever did.

  2. Hope all goes well for him this year. He’s a decent driver.

    Slightly worrying though, Tsunoda put him in his place several times last year on pure pace. In hindsight it’s clear to see why Gasly panicked at Red Bull against Verstappen and went looking for laptime through extreme setups. He probably didn’t had the raw pace regardless of car and setup.

    Its really about being sensible with the race setup for Gasly, maybe take a defeat in qualifying from time to time, but focus on delivering points on sunday.

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      17th February 2023, 15:02

      Yeah I agree – he needs a bit of a reset. There were times at Alpha Tauri when he looked like the real deal. I think he knew his services were no longer really wanted last year and combined with having a fairly slow car, he just wasn’t on it.

      I’m hoping to see a good season from him this year.

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