Pierre Gasly gives candid assessment of AlphaTauri’s weakenesses after joining Alpine

Pierre Gasly will race alongside Esteban Ocon at Alpine in 2023, after the team negotiated a reasonable fee with Red Bull for the Frenchman’s release.

The 2023 season was a roaring success for some teams such as Red Bull, who comfortably cruised to both championships with Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez under the new regulations.

Red Bull’s sister team AlphaTauri, however, struggled to get to grips with the major regulation changes that came at the start of 2022, dropping from sixth place the season prior to a lowly ninth.

The team’s shortcomings came as a result of the team being unable to adapt to the new era of Formula 1, struggling to provide Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda with a car as competitive as they managed the year before.

Having shown his quality during his years of service for AlphaTauri, those higher up at Red Bull did not stand in the way of Gasly’s dream move to Alpine ahead of 2023, as the Frenchman seeks to fight for podiums rather than at the back of the grid.

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While some fans expected AlphaTauri to kick on from their impressive 2021 under the new regulations, Gasly has offered an explanation for his team’s 2022 struggles.

“I would say, and this is my personal opinion, that we had deficits in the area of efficiency,” he explained to Auto Motor und Sport.

“From the aerodynamics point of view. We drove with too much drag for the downforce that the car generates. And there was just a general lack of downforce. That affected other areas.

“The car slid more, the tyres heated up more. Then you slide even more, and you have more thermal-related wear.

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“I do think the car had potential. But what also weakened us was we were very much over the minimum weight all season. We’re talking about a few tenths of a second. We didn’t manage to shed that excess weight.”

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The dynamic at AlphaTauri will be strange following Gasly’s departure, as the Frenchman will be replaced by Nyck de Vries, who at 27 years of age, is technically still a rookie.

This means that while Yuki Tsunoda has been in F1 with AlphaTauri for two seasons now, his rookie partner will be five years older than him and experienced from his time with Mercedes.

Gasly believes that should Tsunoda be able to better manage his temper, the Japanese driver has everything needed to become the team leader at AlphaTauri after striking up a strong bond with his now former teammate.