pierre gasly alpine

Gasly: Next year we expect more from ourselves

pierre gasly alpine

Pierre Gasly looked back on his first season as an Alpine F1 driver, the Frenchman is content with how it panned out but has much higher expectations for 2024.

At the end of last season, Gasly’s six years in Formula 1 with the Red Bull family, including Toro Rosso (aka AlphaTauri) came to an end moving ‘home’ to Alpine, replacing Fernando Alonso to partner childhood rival Esteban Ocon.

At the end of a relatively placid F1 season for the pair, many expected fireworks between them due to a rivalry that was spawned when they were young teens in karting. When the points were counted, Gasly beat Ocon by four points. The pair finished 11th and 12th, taking Alpine to sixth in the 2023 F1 Constructors’ standings.

In an end-of-the-season column for F1.com, Gasly wrote of the year past: “We ended my season in 11th place in the drivers’ championship with the team in sixth place in the constructors’ championship. For us, that is very much below the expectations we set ourselves and, of course, we wanted much more than that.

“We did record two podiums – three including my Sprint in Spa – something the team did not achieve in 2022, so that does constitute a mini victory to some extent. I really enjoyed my first year with the team. I felt, especially, I hit my groove after the summer break and that is shown by the results.”

As for a surge of late-season form, Gasly explained: “I do not know the full answers to that question other than feeling much more comfortable and embedded in the team with a much slicker understanding with everyone, especially those with a direct impact on me like the engineers.”

Pierre: I can’t wait for a bit of normality and a switch-off

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For his second season with Les Bleus, 27-year-old Gasly has loftier targets: “Next year we expect more from ourselves and I already cannot wait. While it’s important to have some downtime during this moment, it’s equally important for the hard work behind the scenes to continue. I’m already thinking of 2024.

“We have to hit the ground running when the time comes. There are no excuses. It is my second year; I am fully integrated into the team and I already cannot wait to drive again.”

F1 resumes again with testing in late February, at Bahrain International Circuit, regarding his plans until then, Gasly revealed: “The racing year has just gone by so fast and here we are already on our downtime and preparing for 2024. It was a crazy end to the year with so many races so, immediately, I already plan on doing nothing for a good while.

“By that, I don’t mean a complete shutdown but just giving myself a short period to switch off and go off-radar for a few days. Taking that time is just as important as physical training. I’ll be spending Christmas with family and friends in Normandy.

“I can’t wait for a bit of normality and a switch off before hitting intense preparation in January. As I said, I’m excited for next season and I’m already thinking about hitting race mode again.

“I’ll be doing some warm weather training in Dubai in January then some preparation in the factory at Enstone before we get going once again. For now, though, a break,” added Gasly, in the wake of his seventh season in F1.