Pierre Gasly reflected on the first half of his first Formula 1 season with Alpine, labeling it as tricky as a combination of bad lack and poor performance has marred his campaign so far.
Gasly joined Alpine from AlphaTauri at the start of the 2023 F1 season, but the situation has been far from ideal for the Frenchman who was happy to finally be free from the clutches of the Red Bull driver program.
Gasly scored points for Alpine on six occasions so far in 2023, but has also retired three times with crashes, the first of which was at the Australian Grand Prix when he and his teammate Esteban Ocon took each other out on the second and chaotic race restart following a Red flag.
In Silverstone, Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll crashed into Gasly causing the latter to retire, the former slapped with a five-second penalty.
In Hungary as well, Gasly and Ocon were the victims of the serial crash started by Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu who hit Daniel Ricciardo who in turn read ended Ocon into or onto Gasly that is.
“I think it’s been quite tricky for many different reasons,” Gasly said of his season ahead of the summer break, quoted by Motorsport.com. “I think, overall, we’ve been probably the most unlucky I’ve been in Formula 1 compared to all other seasons.
“There were a couple of missed opportunities, which had like a sort of snowball effect and a pretty big impact on the final results. So obviously, it doesn’t reflect, the full potential of the package.
“But, on the other side, we haven’t been as competitive as what we had targeted at the start of the year,” the French driver admitted.
Gasly hoping the team can show better form in the second half of the season
“Alpine finished quite strong in fourth position [in 2022], and we started this year behind Aston, so as the fifth best team. Then McLaren had a better development than we have had so far, so we dropped to sixth. And it’s obviously not the target for the season.
“It would be a lie to say that we matched the expectations. But we still have half a year to go and there’s still quite a lot of stuff in the pipeline in terms of developments.
“It’s not going to turn the full season around, but I’m definitely hopeful that we can show a better form in the second part of the year,” he hoped.
Alpine’s A523 didn’t turn out to be a decent car as the team had hoped to repeat their fourth-place finish in the F1 Constructors’ Championship from 2022, and even get closer to the top three.
“Obviously there are different areas of improvement,” Gasly said of the A523’s performance. “There is the overall downforce, which will bring you load and will make you faster.
“And then there is obviously improvement of the through-corner balance, which is another topic with the sensitivity through different conditions.
“At the minute, we’re chasing all of that to be fair. So it’s not like there is one area which is weaker than the others. We’re just trying to make the package stronger. And we haven’t really made the step that we had hoped for,” he concluded.
In addition to a slow car, Alpine have also suffered from operational errors, but the big problem was off track, and by that we mean the latest upheaval within the organization with Laurent Rossi (CEO), Otmar Szafnauer (Team Principal) and Alan Permane (Sporting Director) all fired from their posts within a span of days, while Chief Technical Officer Pat Fry left to join Williams.
Alpine are currently sixth in the 2023 F1 Constructors’ Standings with 57 points.