Pierre Gasly claimed his third place at the 2023 Dutch Grand Prix was about Alpine maximizing their result rather than outright pace from the A523.
Gasly started his 13th Formula 1 race with Alpine from 12th on the grid, but delivered a strong performance in unpredictable conditions and managed to overcome a five-second time penalty for speeding in the pitlane and take his first podium with the French team.
Gasly was one of the first drivers to switch to Intermediate tyres at the start of the race when rain hit the track, and that catapulted him into the top five by lap seven of the race, after which he kept his head down through the changeable conditions that saw a Safety Car and a Red flag to take the final podium spot, benefitting from a mistake by Red Bull’s Sergio Perez, who was also handed a five-second penalty for speeding in the pitlane, handing over his position to Gasly.
“What a race coming back from the summer break,” Gasly said after the race. “It was nice to try to improve race by race. I am super pleased for all I was upset to have a penalty.
“I tried to push and managed to do it. It was a very long race. Very challenging from start to finish,” the Frenchman added.
“It is just the reward of hard work from all the guys,” he went on. “It is really about keeping our head down. There are unfortunate incidents, but at the end of the day, you have to keep improving.
The result is a massive satisfaction
“It is a massive boost of motivation. The guys called me at the right time. It was a great team work. It is enjoyable and so much more exciting. I loved every single lap. We went through all conditions, challenging and fun. To finish with a podium is a massive satisfaction.
Gasly was asked if the result at Zandvoort was down to an improvement in the pace of his A523, he responded: “Today was a lot about maximizing and fighting in the midfield. You have to be very sharp on calls, strategy, pitstops.
And looking forward to Monza next weekend, the venue of his first Grand Prix win in 2020, Gasly said: “You have to improve with nine races ahead of us.
“It is important to enjoy when we can do better. Tomorrow is straight focusing in Monza. Today we did well,” the 27-year-old concluded.
With Esteban Ocon finishing tenth in the other Alpine, the French team leaves Zandvoort with a decent haul of points.
This result comes as a major boost for Alpine who are going through a tumultuous time, with major management changes that saw Laurent Rossi (former CEO), Otmar Szafnauer (former Team Principal), and Alan Permane (former Sporting Director) all fired ahead of the summer break, while Chief Technical Officer Pat Fry opted to jump ship to Williams.