Gasly predicts AlphaTauri to make comeback in 2023

© XPB 

Pierre Gasly might have moved on to take up a new role at Alpine, but the French driver believes that his old team AlphaTauri still has a bright future ahead.

Gasly took his maiden Formula 1 race win with the team in the 2020 Italian Grand Prix. The squad went on to finish the 2021 season in sixth place in the constructors championship, with Gasly himself P9 in the drivers' title battle.

However it proved to be rather tougher in 2022, with AlphaTauri slumping to ninth in the team standings and Gasly just 14th in the drivers championship.

But despite this somewhat sour end to their partnership, Gasly wishes AlphaTauri nothing but the best for the future - and thinks that a resurgence will not be long in coming to Faenza.

"It was no surprise that I'm disappointed," Gasly told Auto Motor und Sport when asked to review the last 12 months. "We had had an excellent 2021, and our expectations and ambitions at AlphaTauri were also high.

"I was really looking forward to the big rule change [for 2022]," he continued. "The changes should have brought the field closer together, and we all saw it as an opportunity.

"Unfortunately it was a very difficult year for us," he sighed. "Similar to 2018, when I joined the team and the performance wasn't there then.

“I would say - and this is my personal opinion - that we had deficits in the area of efficiency,” he suggested. “From the aerodynamics point of view, we drove with too much drag for the downforce that the car generates.

"There was just a general lack of downforce, and that affected other areas," he explained. “The car slid more, the tyres heated up more. Then you slide even more, and you have more thermal-related wear.

"A small step in downforce has a big impact on your overall performance in the race," he admitted. “What also weakened us was we were very much over the minimum weight all season.

"We didn’t manage to shed that excess weight," he said. "We’re talking about a few tenths of a second ... If we’d had those few tenths at the start of the season, we’d have been in the front midfield in at least the first eight races.

"That would have had an impact on the final standings.

"I do think the car had potential," he insisted. "I don't think the car was terrible. We were still able to fight for points in some races.

Yuki Tsunoda (JPN) AlphaTauri and team mate Pierre Gasly (FRA) AlphaTauri. 07.07.2022. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 11, Austrian Grand Prix, Spielberg, Austria, Preparation

"But other teams managed to bring more consistency and unleash a little more performance throughout the year," he explained. "That helped them get in the points more consistently."

Gasly firmly believes that AlphaTauri are a much better team than their 2022 standing suggests, and says that they should bounce back this season with the rules staying relatively static.

"They have what it takes to drive in the upper midfield," he asserted. "Just like we did in 2021 when we had the car to be fifth in the championship," adding that it was only team mate Yuki Tsunoda's rookie season that thwarted them.

"It was Yuki’s first season in Formula 1 at the time. If it had been his second, and he had delivered the performance of 2022, I’m sure we would have finished fifth.

"That's why I see the potential," he continued. "The people are there, the structures are in place.

"The changes to the regulations – the budget cap and the staggered wind tunnel times – should help the midfield teams," he added. "I therefore see no reason why AlphaTauri should not fight in the upper midfield."

This season, Gasly's former seat with the team will be taken by Nyck de Vries. While technically a rookie, he's also a former Formula E world champion and made quite an impact in his first F1 race at Monza last September.

The Dutch driver was a last minute stand-in for Williams' Alex Albon who had to undergo emergency surgery for appendicitis. He won points in his debut and was snapped up by AlphaTauri for a full-time drive in 2023.

Gasly meanwhile will be replacing Fernando Alonso at Alpine, the team that pipped McLaren to fourth place in last year's constructors fight.

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