Pierre Gasly makes ‘massively overweight’ claim

AlphaTauri finished ninth in the 2022 Constructors' Championship, their lowest position since 2018.

After three seasons of strong progress, the new aerodynamic regulations weren’t the kindest to AlphaTauri, who tumbled down the order in the Constructors’ Championship.

Following a podium in each of the last three seasons, the Faenza-based team came close to hitting rock bottom in the standings, after ending the year in ninth.

Both Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda struggled to extract performance from the AT03, with the new Alpine driver putting the team’s poor season down to the car having been “massively overweight”.

“I do feel like the core of the car is great, but we’ve just been massively overweight all season,” Gasly told reporters.

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“Just on that it cost us a lot in qualifying. I do believe that was the main issue this season.

“Clearly didn’t perform nowhere near what we would have liked and personally what I would have liked for the team.”

Prior to the 2022 season, Gasly was known for being incredibly consistent and for achieving Q3 appearances in qualifying, with the Frenchman having often battled the Ferrari’s and the McLaren’s in 2021.

The AT03’s weight issue, though, made Saturdays particularly challenging for the French driver, who was knocked out of Q1 six times in 2022.

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Gasly really hoped the Faenza-based team would continue to push the top five in the Constructors’ Championship in the most recent season, but that in the end they simply lost out in the vital car development race.

“It was trickier because there were obviously very high expectations coming from last season,” said Gasly.

“There was a great momentum, there was a change of regulations with the target from F1 to kind of put the field all together.

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“So let’s say my hopes to have the best year for AlphaTauri were never as high as they were at the start of the season. I really thought ‘okay, we have our chances, budget cap is coming in, so we have no reasons not to outperform all the midfield teams’.

“And yeah, we didn’t start the year in the best shape, but at that time I didn’t really care so much, because I knew it will be a race of developments for the year.

“I just knew that it doesn’t really matter where you start, you just needed to put this development on the car race after race. And unfortunately, we didn’t manage to do that.”