Gasly feeling 'more involved and consistent' at AlphaTauri

Pierre Gasly (FRA), AlphaTauri F1 15.12.2021. Formula 1 Testing, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi
© XPB 

Pierre Gasly feels that he has put in one of his best seasons in Formula 1 to date, since his debut on the grid in the 2017 Malaysian Grand Prix.

Gasly initially raced with Toro Rosso before being promoted to the senior Red Bull squad at the start of 2019.

However an inconsistent string of results saw him sent back to Faenza after that year's summer break in a straight swap with Alex Albon.

Although less than happy with the perceived demotion at the time, Gasly's form had improved in leaps and bounds ever since, with a maiden victory in last year's Italian GP and another podium this year in Azerbaijan.

Pierre Gasly (FRA), AlphaTauri F1  12.12.2021. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 22, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi

In total, the team - now rebranded AlphaTauri - enjoyed one of its most successful seasons with a total of 142 championship points for sixth place, fully 110 of which are thanks to Gasly's own efforts.

Gasly himself credits having an extended settled period with the team as a major part of making him a faster, more consistent driver since his unfortunate Red Bull misadventure.

“For me the key point this year was really carrying for another [full] year with a team, which was the first time it happened for me in Formula 1," Gasly is quoted as saying by

"We had a lot better understanding of what we need from each other with the group of engineers, and also having a bit more impact with what I need from the car.

"You always make mistakes but you try and reduce them and maximise the opportunities you have, so I feel this year I made a step.

“I feel I’ve learned a lot technically, being more involved," he said, adding that assuming more of a leadership role over inexperienced team mate Yuki Tsunoda had also been a factor.

"Obviously with Yuki coming as a rookie, there was a bit more responsibility on the direction we take," he acknowledged.

With the benefit of the same Honda power units that have taken Max Verstappen to this year's world championship, AlphaTauri as regular been top contenders in Saturday's qualifying sessions.

In the 22 races of this season, Gasly has started in the top ten in all but five weekends. But he has not always been able to translate that into race pace.

"The balance between quali and race, you can’t adjust the car, it’s a fine line,” he conceded. “I think our car was generally strong in quali more than the race,

"In terms of set-up and potential to extract the maximum, I feel I’ve made a step," he said. "You get more confident. This year was probably my most consistent year."

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