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Formula 1

Gasly ‘100%’ staying with AlphaTauri for 2023 F1 season

by Edd Straw
4 min read

Team principal Franz Tost has confirmed Piere Gasly will drive for AlphaTauri in 2023.

There had been speculation surrounding Gasly’s Formula 1 future following the announcement that Sergio Perez had signed a deal to stay at Red Bull until the end of 2024.

Speaking in Baku last weekend, Gasly himself said discussions were ongoing with Red Bull’s Helmut Marko “to find what works best for all of us and how do we go forward”.

He also stressed his ambitions stretch beyond being a top 10 finisher, saying “that’s not what I work for every day, I want more than that, I want to fight at the front”

It’s understood that Marko is keen for Gasly to stay at AlphaTauri and pushed to convince the 26-year-old that it’s the best place for him to be. He has also publicly suggested there are no better alternative destinations for Gasly.

AlphaTauri had not confirmed details of its 2023 line-up prior to today, when Tost said it was “100% confirmed” Gasly will race for the team next year despite suggestions he could either break away from Red Bull, or move to another team with its support.

Motor Racing Formula One World Championship Canadian Grand Prix Practice Day Montreal, Canada

“He will be a driver of us, of Scuderia AlphaTauri, in 2023,” said Tost when asked about Gasly’s future.

“This is 100% confirmed.”

When asked by The Race’s Scott Mitchell how the team convinced Gasly to say, Tost simply replied “He has a valid contract, there’s nothing more to say.”

Gasly and AlphaTauri have had a difficult start to the season, with a combination of unreliability and the erratic performance of the Honda-engined AT03 meaning results have been patchy.

Prior to last weekend’s race at Baku, Gasly had only scored points twice in seven races – eighth in Saudi Arabia and ninth in Australia.

But the car has proved more effective at tracks where mechanical grip and slow-corner performance are key, meaning the car was competitive at Monaco, where Gasly was eliminated in Q1 after not making it around his outlap after the red flag fast enough to start a lap, and in Azerbaijan, where Gasly was fifth.

Tost described Gasly’s performance level as “fantastic” and said it requires the team to give him a package worthy of his abilities.

“He is showing fantastic performance,” said Tost.

Motor Racing Formula One World Championship Canadian Grand Prix Practice Day Montreal, Canada

“Unfortunately, at the beginning of the season [he suffered] with a lot of reliability issues – for example, in Bahrain when the battery caught fire.

“Then there were some other reliability issues that were not his fault, it was coming from the team. I am really happy now that at least in Baku we could show how good he is.

“And I hope that we will provide him with a competitive car for the rest of the season because Pierre has the ability to be in front. It’s in the hands of the team to give him a really good competitive car.”

Gasly described himself as “really pleased” with the Baku performance, which came after talks with the team ahead of the weekend.

This followed his frustration of Monaco, where he showed the pace potentially to qualify on the third row but was left 17th on the grid after being held in the garage for too long before joining the queue to restart the session.

Gasly recovered to finish 11th after a strong drive, but he was disappointed an opportunity for a strong result was wasted.

“Before the weekend we had a lot of meetings with the guys, and also on Friday I had a good talk with all my race team and really tried to get everyone on board and just stick together,” said Gasly.

“Because it’s always in these challenging times that people lose motivation or start to be a bit frustrated with performance.

“To me, it’s in these moments where you have to extract even more from everyone. That was the target and the gameplan before the weekend and everything was really well executed from FP1 to the race.”

Gasly was hopeful of carrying the improved Baku form into the Montreal weekend and was sixth fastest in FP2 yesterday.

But while he felt the single-lap pace was strong, Gasly said after Friday practice that he felt the team still had work to do.

Motor Racing Formula One World Championship Canadian Grand Prix Practice Day Montreal, Canada

“It was extremely difficult,” said Gasly on Friday. “The performance in the end was good over one lap but inside the car definitely not feeling great.

“I really struggled with the balance so it hasn’t been easy at all, and also on the long run with tyre degradation it was quite difficult.

“It’s not easy for anyone so it’s normal to face these issues but we still have a lot of work to do.”

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