Pierre Gasly has looked back on his 2021 campaign, and believes he has made a clear step forward after his second consecutive full season with the AlphaTauri team.
While the French driver didn't manage to pull off a second career victory after winning the 2020 Italian Grand Prix, Gasly was consistently one of the star performers of the upper midfield during 2021 as he scored a raft of fourth and fifth places.
Scoring 75 points in 2020, Gasly amassed 110 in 2021 and rose to ninth in the Drivers' Championship.
"Well, I think obviously many areas," he told media, including RacingNews365.com, when asked about where he feels he's improved in the past 12 months.
"I think, for me, the key point this year was really carrying [on] for another year with the team, which was the first time it happened to me in Formula 1.
"So we have a lot better understanding of what we need from each other, [working] with the group of engineers and also having a bit more impact on what I need from the car."
A growing seniority
While Gasly is just 25 years old, his considerable experience over rookie teammate Yuki Tsunoda proved a crucial difference over the course of 2021 as the Japanese driver struggled to find any sort of form or consistency.
Gasly explained that he could feel the weight of the greater responsibility and pressure to perform as a result of Tsunoda's inexperience.
"With Yuki coming as a rookie, [I had] more responsibilities in the direction we take, and I feel I've learned a lot technically by being a bit more involved with the guys on that side," he revealed.
In particular, he pointed to the need to find setups quite quickly, due to parc ferme conditions being imposed between qualifying and the race – an area he feels he's improved a lot in 2021.
"I think the balance you need to find between quali and the race [as] you can't adjust the car, it's something that's a fine line," he said.
"I think our car generally is strong in quali more than in the race but, in terms of finding setup and potential to extract the maximum from a weekend, I think I've made a step on that side.
"You get more consistent; I think this year  was probably my most consistent year in Formula 1. You always make mistakes, but [you] try to reduce them and maximise all the opportunities that you have, so I feel this year I've made a step on that side."
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