‘I was jumping on my bed’: Pierre Gasly reveals important Helmut Marko moment

Pierre Gasly will form an all-French line-up with Esteban Ocon at Alpine in 2023, after walking away from Red Bull.

Pierre Gasly’s life is certainly going to change as he heads into 2023, with the Frenchman set to start a new chapter of his Formula 1 career.

After six years racing for AlphaTauri, including, a 12-race spell at Red Bull, the 26-year-old is leaving what he has become so comfortable with behind.

Gasly has been part of the Red Bull family since 2014, where he joined the Austrians illustrious junior driver programme.

He’s gone on to become one of the team’s most successful drivers, given that he is a regular F1 driver and has been since making his debut for Toro Rosso at the 2017 Malaysian Grand Prix.

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With that in mind, the French driver was asked by RaceFans.net what it’ll be like to no longer be with the Austrians or the Faenza-based side, whom he has “beyond a working relationship” with.

“I don’t think it has hit me yet,” Gasly said to RaceFans.net, “because I’ve just been dressing up the same way, same clothes the last five years. Wearing the same colours and working with the same people, going to the simulator.

“After such a long time, you go beyond a working relationship. I know most of the guys’ kids, wives, where they live. We share a lot more personal connection.”

At Toro Rosso/AlphaTauri especially, the Frenchman has enjoyed plenty of success, with the pinnacle of that being his maiden victory at the 2020 Italian Grand Prix.

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Gasly’s win came 12 years after the team’s last, which also came at Monza thanks to a baby-faced Sebastian Vettel.

The new Alpine driver has also claimed podiums at Interlagos and Baku, the first of which was his first F1 podium.

Understandably, his maiden win is his favourite moment of his time with Red Bull’s sister team, with his debut also being high on his list.

“Obviously the win definitely comes first,” he said.

“I will say my first race as well in Malaysia – you only get one first and this was very, very special because I didn’t expect it.

“I still remember Helmut [Marko, Red Bull sporting advisor] calling me: ‘okay, you’re not going to be a reserve driver, but you’re racing for Toro Rosso this weekend’. I was jumping on my bed in Malaysia. God knows which hotel I was in, but it wasn’t so great for them! But it was a very unique memory.”

He certainly believes his time with the Red Bull family has been worthwhile, something that is definitely certain given that he’s attracted interest from several teams over recent years.

His move to Alpine is a real step in the direction for Gasly, who will have an excellent opportunity to challenge for top six results on a Grand Prix basis.

Gasly explained all that he’s learnt from his time with the Austrians, with the driver certainly departing to Alpine as one who’s come an incredibly long way.

“My time at Red Bull I know has been also very useful in understanding as a driver what I need,” he explained.

“Now I know I have much clearer ideas of what I want as a driver.

“I came there very fresh without clear mindsets and clear direction as to what kind of driver I am and what I need.

“Now I know that. I know my driving style and I know how to operate at my best. So I think I’ve learnt a lot over the past five years, but definitely always relate the good results with the best memories.”

The only downside of his time with the Red Bull family is, funnily enough, his short period racing for the main Red Bull side.

It was an environment that Gasly ultimately buckled under, with him having been unable to do anything to compete with team-mate at the time Max Verstappen.

Gasly was, of course, dropped by Red Bull halfway through the 2019 season, where he was put back into their sister side.

Despite having failed when given the opportunity at Red Bull, Gasly is adamant that he doesn’t regret how things went, with it simply having been “my story”.

“Not at all,” he added.

“This was my career and my story with Red Bull.

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“I really believe that whatever was meant to happen, happened and it’s meant to be like that. I’ve learnt a lot. I think I’m definitely in a much stronger position, I’m a much stronger driver than I was. I’m the person that I am today thanks to the experience that I had out there.

“I’ve grown up a lot, whether it was on track or off the track. If you ask me, I will not even change it for anything.

“I just know I’m 26 now, every year I’m getting better – like a good red wine. I don’t know where this is going to stop, but I just know personally, I just keep getting better and I know the best is yet to come. So I’m really grateful for what’s happened.”