An open-minded, confident and comfortable Pierre Gasly is facing a new chapter with Alpine

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A new season represents a new beginning, for some more then others and Pierre Gasly faced a new chapter in his career, with the transition from AlphaTauri to Alpine.

Pit Debrief had the opportunity to be present at the launch of the A523, where the Frenchman talked about the changes in his career and his feeling toward the team he’s learning to know and getting used to.

“We’re very very excited about this new project, a big change in my career, also in my life. It’s definitely something I see as a massive opportunity. So far from what I’ve seen from the team, going to Enstone, going to Viry, and the fact of working with a manufacturer, just have a potential, which is much compared to what I’ve seen before. Very excited about this new beginning.”

Adapting to a new single-seater can be difficult, even more so when the whole team changes. Gasly seemed positive and enthusiastic with the first laps on the 2023 car and the new people he worked with, about which he commented:

“I’m still meeting new faces every single time I go at the factory, but I’ve tried to do as much as I could before the season start just to make sure this adaptation time is reduced as much as possible.

“It’s much better, I’m not gonna lie. It’s definitively a much more exciting feeling. As I said, I’m excited and I take this very seriously. I’m a very competitive person and I really hope that we’re gonna be able to carry the momentum they have had over the last year and close the gap to the big three in this year.

“I felt very comfortable in the car straight out of the box. It’s been the best shakedown I’ve ever had. So far very positive. Since my first day in Enstone last year I’ve done all the simulator I could, I’ve worked very closely with all the engineers. I’ve met all the key people inside the team.”

It’s not all straightforward, he admits. He still needs to give himself some time to adapt to all the changes.

“If you ask me, I want to be 100 straight away from day one. But you’ve got to be objective and realistic. You never really know how much time it takes. Sometimes it’s a race, sometimes it’s three races, sometime it clicks straight away. So now I’m just very open-minded. So far, as I said, I felt very confident, very comfortable and the team has given me all the environment needed to feeling home and just feeling comfortable to be at my best potential for the first race.”

But what about the shadow of a World Champion he replaced?

When asked about the difficulties of fitting into the shoes of Fernando Alonso, he replied:

“I literally don’t look at Fernando at all. He’s done his career, incredible career. I’m just looking at myself and my own career. I want to be a world champion one day, I wanna win races, I wanna bring Alpine to the top and that’s all I’m focusing on. The team has learned a lot with Fernando, which is good and we’ll carry whatever they have taken from him going forward in the future, and now it’s up to us with Esteban to work in the best way possible to keep that evolution and keep the progress we’ve being seeing in the last few years and closing that gap with the top three.”

The comparison between what is known and what is new is inevitable. On the differences between AlphaTauri and Alpine the 2020 Italian Grand Prix winner said:

“Everything felt kinda different at the start, but I must say it’s been very good. It felt very good. I was very happy after the first few laps. It was only ten laps but usually shakedowns always feel a bit awkward. It’s a new car, a new seat, steering, pedals. This time everything was just great. You could feel already there was very good potential.

“I’m just excited to see once we put the car in Bahrain. How much potential there’s gonna be, how it behaves. The first race is coming in two weeks. It’s proper time, everything is getting real. I’m just excited to see the potential.

“I’ve done everything I could to work with the team, get to know the team, share my requirements and my needs. Also on their side, what they’re used to, what they need and just to get to know each other with the team. We’re gonna create automatism, which will come over time, but we’ll do the work and I’m confident we’ll be able to perform in the first race.

Photo: Alpine F1 Team