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Pierre Gasly

Why Gasly sees 'huge potential' at Alpine

After an F1 career spent entirely under the aegis of Red Bull, Pierre Gasly makes the move to Alpine for 2023, and the Frenchman has talked up his new team's prospects.

Gasly Abu Dhabi test 2022
To news overview © XPBimages

New Alpine signing Pierre Gasly has expressed his excitement ahead of the 2023 Formula 1 season, saying his new squad has 'huge potential' to challenge at the front of the grid.

After Fernando Alonso announced that he would move to Aston Martin, and reserve driver Oscar Piastri elected to defect to McLaren for 2023, Alpine were in need of a driver to partner Esteban Ocon and plumped for Gasly, creating F1's first all-French driver lineup since 1994.

For Gasly, the move to Alpine represents his first season of F1 outside the Red Bull umbrella since his arrival in the sport midway through 2017.

Though the Frenchman still had a deal with AlphaTauri's parent company Red Bull for 2023, the drinks-backed company were receptive to Alpine's offer to buy Gasly out of his contract, and the Frenchman said leaving the Red Bull umbrella represented a pivotal moment in his career.

"I had a contract [with Red Bull] for 2023," Gasly told Auto Motor und Sport.

"The possibilities of getting out of there seemed limited, but you can talk, and find out what is possible.

"When Helmut [Marko, Red Bull's Special Advisor] was open to talks, I noticed that the situation was changing.

"For me, it is an important change in my career. Joining Alpine felt like a natural step for me.

"This is where I want to be, where I want to spend my future. It's the right moment for me as a driver.

"With the experiences of the last five years, it is time for the next step. It's an incredible story to write together."

Gasly impressed by Alpine progress

With Red Bull having passed on the opportunity to resign Gasly after the Frenchman's ill-fated half-season at Milton Keynes in 2019, and no seats available at Mercedes, Ferrari or McLaren, Gasly acknowledged that Alpine was the best available option of all the teams he could conceivably have moved to for 2023.

The French squad rose from fifth to fourth in Constructors' Championship in 2022, and Gasly said he was impressed at Alpine's rise over recent seasons.

"If you look at the possibilities, there were no more attractive cockpits [for 2023]," said Gasly.

"When Alonso decided to leave Alpine and Piastri wanted to go to McLaren, [Alpine] was the most attractive seat in the paddock.

"If you look at the development of the team over the last few years, it's pretty impressive to me how they're progressing.

"Fernando was on the front row of the grid in Canada. They fight at the top end of midfield and are consistent with both cars.

"The team is developing the car very well. Whenever they bring new parts, they make progress.

"They have a very good correlation between factory and track. I see huge potential."

Gasly's thoughts on Alpine’s progression echo those of new teammate Esteban Ocon, who told RacingNews365.com in December that the pace of development at the Enstone outfit was the best he had ever known in F1.

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