Gasly: Alpine F1 “really aware” of current weaknesses; heads into 2024 with “right spirit” for change

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Pierre Gasly believes his Alpine F1 squad has the “right spirit” to make the necessary leap forward in performance for 2024, but admitted he has “no guarantee” that it will actually translate into on-track results given the unpredictable nature of the sport.

Photo Credits: BWT Alpine F1 Team

Alpine finished a lowly sixth in the 2023 constructors’ championship, a whopping 160 points behind Aston Martin, and despite some impressive peaks in the season, like Esteban Ocon’s drive to a podium in Monaco and Gasly’s podium in Zandvoort – both in chaotic weather conditions – the troughs were just as visible, with both cars eliminated in Q1 at Monza on pure pace as an example, and the general lack of something to fight for given the team was so far ahead of seventh-placed Williams, but so far behind fifth-placed Aston.

However, after joining the team in 2023 from AlphaTauri, Pierre Gasly is remaining positive that the team is implementing the necessary changes in order to improve their fortunes for 2024, with the biggest gains to come from a change of “mindset” from the Enstone-Viry squad, he told selected media ahead of the 2023 season finale in Abu Dhabi:

“There’s nothing that is consistent in Formula One,” said Gasly. “You can’t predict, because even with the best will and desire to improve, improvement in F1 is not really consistent.

“Sometimes you don’t find any progress on the aerodynamics side for three months, and [then] you put a finger on an area which unlocks massive potential.

“I think it’s more in the mentality and mindset that we put ourselves, [and] from what I’m seeing inside the team at the moment, we’re really trying to improve everywhere.”

Alpine has gone through several major revamps in its technical and management structure in 2023, with big departures like long-serving Sporting Director Alan Permane, team principal since 2022 Otmar Szafnauer and ex-MotoGP team boss Davide Brivio marking a year of huge changes in the team.

The Frenchman is adamant that the team is putting in the work and has the “right spirit” to make sure it improves in “all areas”, but said that there’s no guarantee that it will translate into on-track performance as soon as next season:

“We’re really aware on our weaknesses, we’re really aware on our potential. We know our strengths, we know the areas where we gotta get stronger, and there are a lot of processes that are [being] put in place to tackle this.

“We have the right spirit. I have no guarantee that next year we’re gonna have a car that allows me to get the positions and the targets that we set ourselves at the start of the year,” he admitted. “But all I can see right now is that we’re trying as hard as we can to get there, and the processes that we put in place are the right ones.”

Heading into his seventh full season in F1, the Alpine driver gave a simplistic view of what needs to improve on the team’s 2024 challenger, and noted the importance of incremental, “three tenths” of a second gains that are needed to leap the squad up the field:

“More downforce, more power and better mechanical grip,” he said when asked what aspects of the car need to be improved heading into 2024. “We’re talking about fine margins, I don’t think we are miles behind. When you find like three tenths [of a second] here, three tenths there – the difference in finding three tenths seems quite small, but to find it is actually quite a big task.

“It’s all areas [where] we need to raise our game, but as I said, that’s what I’ve seen over the last six months. I’ve really seen nice progress in the way that we are operating, and we gotta keep that mindset going forward.

“Hopefully the package that we put together next season will be a more efficient package.”