Pierre Gasly believes that with the same car he would be able to challenge today his former Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen given his development as a driver over the past year.
Gasly was promoted to Red Bull in 2019 after a formative year in F1 with Toro Rosso. But the Frenchman was outpaced from the outset by Verstappen and could not close the gap with his blindingly fast teammate.
After the summer break that year, Red Bull demoted Gasly back to its sister outfit while it promoted Alex Albon to the Milton Keynes-based outfit.
The move did not entail success for the British-Thai driver whose underperformance relative to the uncontested Verstappen has forced him to relinquish his seat next season to Sergio Perez.
Gasly on the other hand enjoyed a banner year with AlphaTauri capped by his shock win in the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.
The 24-year-old says he has significantly improved as a driver over the past 12 months and, if granted a chance to defy Verstappen in the same car, believes he could give the intrepid racer a run for his money.
"I think I would have my chance in the same car," Gasly said in an interview with Germany's Auto Motor und Sport. "But it’s a lot more complicated than that. I know my skills.
"If I have the right car, like this year, I can do really well. I showed that. I’ll keep going full throttle so that I get my chance.
"I’m doing much better. Objectively speaking, I’m a better driver. More consistent, with more experience. I expect to be even better in 2021 and again the following year."
Gasly, who will be paired next season at AlphaTauri with highly rated Japanese rookie Yuki Tsunoda, says his gains this year were mainly due to his improved experience.
"In Formula 1, experience makes quite a difference," he said. "I’ve learned how to work better with the team. How I get more out of the people around me.
"How I better prepare for the race weekend. How to deal with the little problems that can happen to you over the weekend.
"To be honest, there are still so many areas I can improve. But that’s also the case with a seven-time World Champion. Speaking to Lewis [Hamilton] I’m sure he feels there are areas where he could do better.
"This is our life – we work on every detail that makes us better, doing something better than the others.
"My goal in Formula 1 is to become world champion – that’s what I work for."