Outgoing AlphaTauri driver Pierre Gasly says his now-former team are confident of being able to fight at the front of the grid in 2023.
Gasly left the Red Bull sister squad for Alpine at the end of the 2022 season after two spells of almost five seasons with the team formerly known as Toro Rosso.
The Frenchman is both the longest-serving and most successful driver to have been with AlphaTauri, taking a fairy-tale maiden Grand Prix win at Monza in 2020, and regularly finishing in the upper points positions across his stints with the Faenza outfit.
After having finished sixth in the 2021 Constructors' Championship, AlphaTauri slipped back to ninth in 2022, with Gasly's fifth place in Baku the highlight of an otherwise lean year.
However, the Frenchman said his now-former colleagues were bullish on a return to form in 2023.
"[AlphaTauri] told me that next year their car will be the best they have ever made, and that they will fight at the front," Gasly told Motorsport.com.
"Everyone in the paddock will be making big strides, though, so no one knows exactly what will happen."
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Gasly 'keeping fingers crossed' for Alpine in 2023
Next year sees Gasly leave the Red Bull umbrella for the first time since making his F1 debut in 2017, as the Frenchman joins Esteban Ocon at Alpine to create F1's first all-French driver line-up since 1994.
The Enstone outfit had a solid year in 2022, holding off McLaren to finish fourth behind the dominant top three of Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes, and Gasly said he hopes his new team continue with their upward momentum.
"I think it's important to prepare as best we can for next year, keeping my fingers crossed that Alpine's package will only be even better than this year's," Gasly explained.
we'll be at the front, maybe we'll fight for podiums at the most and maybe it
will be more difficult than this year.
"But Alpine's package was already good and they managed to beat McLaren. The next target is the big three."
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