Pierre Gasly says AlphaTauri are capable of bouncing back after a poor 2022 and running competitively in F1's upper midfield.
The Faenza-based outfit had had a good 2021 season, with Gasly scoring regularly and the team finishing sixth in the Constructors' Championship with 142 points, just 13 shy of fifth-placed Alpine.
However, AlphaTauri fell backwards in 2022, scoring only 35 points to end the season ninth in the Constructors' standings, and Gasly lamented that the team failed to take advantage of F1’s new set of technical regulations for 2022.
"It's no surprise that I'm disappointed," Gasly told Auto Motor und Sport of his 2022 season.
"I was really looking forward to this big rule change. We had had an excellent 2021, and our expectations and ambitions at AlphaTauri were also high.
"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, similar to 2018 when I joined the team and the performance wasn't there then.
"I don't think the car was terrible. We were still able to fight for points in some races, But other teams managed to bring more consistency and unleash a little more performance throughout the year.
"That helped them get in the points more consistently."
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New regs will help AlphaTauri close gap, says Gasly
Gasly will not be at AlphaTauri next year, having elected to fly the Red Bull nest and replace Fernando Alonso at Alpine.
However, the Frenchman backed his now-former employers to come good in 2023, thanks in part to F1's new regulations aimed at narrowing the gap between the front and back of the field.
"[AlphaTauri] have what it takes to drive in the upper midfield," said Gasly.
"Just like we did in 2021, when we had the car to be fifth in the World Championship.
"It was [teammate] Yuki [Tsunoda]'s first season in Formula 1 back then. Had it been his second and had he delivered the performance of 2022, we would certainly have finished fifth.
"That's why I see the potential. The people are there, the structures are in place. The changes to the regulations – with the budget cap and the staggered wind tunnel times – should help the midfield teams.
"I therefore see no reason why AlphaTauri should not fight in the upper midfield."
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