Pierre Gasly said he was pleased to bring some cheer to Alpine amid a turbulent weekend for the team by finishing third in Saturday’s sprint race.
Speaking in response to a question from RaceFans, Gasly said he’d tried to put the off-track drama out of his mind during the weekend. “Personally, I’ve got to focus on what I do on the track and try to bring the best I can from every single session and that’s what I’ve been focusing on,” he said.
However he said it was clear the team, which finished fourth in the championship last year, had failed to meet expectations over the first half of 2023.
“Obviously, I think everyone’s disappointed with the start of the year, we didn’t perform straight from the start as well as we should have and there hasn’t really been the progress that we all would have liked,” said Gasly.
“But obviously I’ve just joined six months ago, I don’t know the past history and it’s quite a lot of changes also for me, like just coming in the team and relying on new people and then all these changes. But, I think everybody needs to sit down and kind of process what’s happened, just refresh and start fresh in Zandvoort.”
Gasly started Saturday’s sprint race from sixth on the grid and rose to finish third behind Max Verstappen and Oscar Piastri. As Alpine also came to terms with the departure of chief technical officer Pat Fry to Williams, Gasly said his result gave the team some satisfaction at a difficult time.
“Everything’s quite fresh. So obviously sit down during the summer and go over all of that. But we tried to just stay focussed on the job this weekend.
“I’m glad we managed to get a trophy, even if it’s a small one. I’m glad we managed to get a trophy yesterday for the last weekend of Alan, Otmar and Pat, at least it makes some positive memories.”
Gasly’s team mate Esteban Ocon also worked with Szafnauer while the pair were at Force India in 2017 and 2018. “I’ve been working with him for many years and I shared a lot of great moments with him,” said Ocon.
“I wish them the best for the future,” he added. “But obviously I am completely focussed on the job I have to do and my job is to be the fastest behind the wheel I can be.”
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