Alpine F1 Team big boss Laurent Rossi is looking forward to Pierre Gasly’s arrival from AlphaTauri, expecting the Frenchman to lead the Formula 1 team’s technical direction.
27-year-old Gasly has 108 Grand Prix starts on his CV, with Toro Rosso, Red Bull and AlphaTauri. Thus, Alpine chose him believing they will benefit from his technical input, thanks to his time working within the Red Bull organization, and specifically AlphaTauri of late.
His time in the Red Bull ‘senior team’ time was brief, in a nutshell, Gasly was up against Max Verstappen and he simply couldn’t get the Dutchman’s setup to work for him, and off he went on his own path, and before he knew he was back Toro Roso for underperforming.
Since then it can be said that Gasly has matured as a driver. He’s now a Grand Prix winner thanks to that marvelous day at Monza in 2020 with AlphaTauri. Probably with that in mind, Rossi laid out his expectations.
The Alpine CEO said of their new signing Gasly: “Hopefully he brings what we need, namely to develop the car because at the moment we are still pretty much in the middle and we have to bring the car further up the field.
“For that, you need drivers who are not only able to go fast and score points with the car’s potential, but also take it to the next level. That means that from [practice on] Friday in the Being able to give feedback to the team and point the whole team in the right direction for the car to improve.
“That’s what we hope Pierre will bring to the table. I mean, he was the technical leader at AlphaTauri in many ways, I think. We want him to continue that work, develop the team and himself with us, and take us to a new level,” added Rossi.
Gasly given an open canvas to develop Alpine to suit him
Big expectations of Gasly and apparent admission that Esteban Ocon is not quite there; the two Frenchmen bitter rivals from their karting days, a feud that is allegedly spread between the two families over the years.
The squabble is well known in French racing circles, with former F1 driver Romain Grosjean, a contemporary to most of the drivers on the current grid, warning: “I think the idea of a French national team with Esteban and Pierre is cool.
I wish that they work well together. This must not degenerate into an internal duel as to who is in charge here after Fernando Alonso. It’s good that both are experienced and Grand Prix winners. They used to not be best friends, but they have to put that behind them. Management has to stay wide awake here,” added Grosjean.
Does Gasly have the car development credentials? That question will be answered as he is given a chance to develop the Alpine package to the next level, out of the midfield mayhem.
With Ocon perhaps not seen by his employers as the complete real-deal when it comes to setting the development path for Alpine, is seems they will rely on Gasly to provide direction.
This is an interesting scenario he has been thrust into, team leader is his for the taking, time will tell if Gasly has learned anything since that wayward half-season at Red Bull and if he can truly lead a team to the next level which is what Alpine desire.
Before inking the deal, Gasly wanted assurances that parent auto-giant Renault were committed: “Of course, I was informed about the project and the plans for the next few years by Otmar, by Laurent and by Luca de Meo. I wanted to know how much Renault is behind this project.
And clearly, Pierre is confident that Renault is “fully behind the team and they want Alpine to fight for the top spots. They will do whatever it takes to get to the top.” Let’s see…