Pierre Gasly has claimed that Scuderia AlphaTauri’s 2022 challenger is the slowest car on the grid, amid the Faenza-based side struggling for form this campaign.
The Frenchman has managed a best finish of P5 so far this year, which came at the typically chaotic Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
In the opening 11 rounds of the year, he has suffered three DNFs, namely in Bahrain, Miami and Silverstone.
His mixed bag of results leaves him 13th in the Drivers’ Standings, having picked up 16 points.
Meanwhile, his team-mate, Yuki Tsunoda, sits 16th in the standings on 11 points, giving Scuderia AlphaTauri a total points haul of 27 and leaving them P8 in the Constructors’ Standings.
Speaking after the 2022 Austrian Grand Prix, Gasly said the Italian side “probably” have the weakest car on the grid and urged his team to make improvements.
“I try to do everything I can inside the car but at the moment there is just nothing to do, so I think we desperately need the upgrade on the car to be able to get any decent result,” said Gasly.
“At the end of the day we just have no pace. You can do whatever you want, any strategy you want, with the speed we have at the moment.
“We probably have the slowest car right now. It’s really a shame to see that we are fighting for the last positions. We haven’t had new parts on the car for a very long time and it’s starting to show, so hopefully we should have this update for France,” he added.
For his part, Franz Tost, team principal of AlphaTauri, praised Gasly, describing him as one of the best drivers in the pinnacle of motorsport.
“He is definitely in the group of the best and most competitive drivers in F1 and has proven his abilities during all the time he has spent with us,” Tost said.
Gasly has already been confirmed for 2023, after he signed a contract extension with AlphaTauri earlier this year.
Tsunoda’s future, on the other hand, is still very much up in the air, although Tost has said he is optimistic about the Japanese driver’s chances of remaining with the team beyond the end of this year.
“If he continues like he did during the season, apart from crashing, I think that he has a good chance to stay with us,” Tost said when asked about Tsunoda’s chances of a 2023 seat.
“It depends on him. If he shows a good performance, he will stay. If he doesn’t show a good performance, he is out. Totally easy.”