Pierre Gasly: ​​Hope we surprise you in 2022

In 2021, Pierre Gasly earned 110 points, which was the best result of his career. In an interview with Auto Motor und Sport, the AlphaTauri racer summed up the past season and shared his plans for the future.

Q: At the beginning of 2021, you said that AlphaTauri should take a step forward. Happened?
Pierre Gasly: I am very pleased with the progress. We had a great season in 2020 and did even better in 2021. If we talk about the races in general, then there is not enough victory, but the team has achieved a stable result. We qualified in the top six 16 times during the season. I think only Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton advanced to the qualifying finals more than me.

We managed to squeeze the maximum out of the car, I had some really very strong races, so at the end of the season we have a lot of positive things. In 2020, we formed a strong team, and in 2021 we squeezed the maximum out of the car.

Question: What were the strengths and weaknesses of the car?
Pierre Gasly: Difficult to say, as much depended on the specific route and weather conditions. Compared to our closest rivals, we lack downforce, but Ferrari and McLaren have more financial capacity.

Another weak point was traction, however, overall, the car was fast. I can see with what dedication everyone in the team worked to achieve success. Our performance is impressive given the size of the budget.

Q: Alpine pilots once said that AlphaTauri has the third fastest car in the championship. Did you have a chance for third place in the constructors’ championship?
Pierre Gasly: Not. It’s easy to say that when we are highly qualified, but when I evaluate the performances of Lando Norris and Daniel Riccardo, the performances of Ferrari drivers, I understand that these two teams are clearly faster than us. However, there was a tight fight between us and Alpine.

Q: If you had a more experienced team-mate, would AlphaTauri have a better chance of finishing fifth in the constructors’ championship?
Pierre Gasly: I think yes. The fight in the middle group of teams is very tight. Daniel and Landau are for McLaren, Ferrari has Charles Leclair and Carlos Sainz. Alpine is supported by two-time Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon. Four-time champion Sebastian Vettel, along with Lance Stroll, represents Aston Martin – it’s difficult for a debutant to resist such guys.

However, in the last races, Yuki Tsunoda showed a good pace. I believe in him because he has talent and speed. Many speak well of him. The second year in Formula 1 is usually easier thanks to experience.

Question: You have earned 110 points. Can we say that you have reached the peak of your form?
Pierre Gasly: In Formula 1 I have not been so good yet. I feel that the more experience I get, the better I understand what is happening and the more I am in control. I know exactly what I want from the car and the team. I believe that every year I keep getting better and better.

Q: Do you think you’ve already outgrown AlphaTauri?
Pierre Gasly: No, but my desire to fight for the title has not disappeared anywhere. I compete in Formula 1 in order to fight for the leading positions, and that motivates me. I will not hide that it upsets me when I compare my results with the results of those who were given the opportunity to take a place in Red Bull Racing. Based on the numbers, I have done better than anyone else at AlphaTauri, but I have not received any recognition or awards for this. This is difficult for me to understand and, of course, it is disappointing.

I know what I want to achieve in Formula 1 – I want to fight for the first places, but I understand that this will not happen next season. However, I will continue to work with maximum dedication and faith in myself. I hope that despite the changes in regulations, our car will be as fast as it was in 2021.

Question: Do you have any fears that you will remain in the teams of the middle group until the end of your career?
Pierre Gasly: No, because the pilot market will change. Many have their contracts expiring in 2023, so there will be opportunities.

At the moment, I am concentrating on performing on a particular weekend. The best I can do is run like Mexico City – I qualified fifth behind Mercedes and Red Bull Racing in a team car in the middle group. I would have done better with a faster car. This is the only thing that matters.

Question: Is your contract valid until 2023?
Pierre Gasly: Yes. As I said, in Formula 1 everything is changing rapidly, and I do not know what plans Red Bull has on my account – whether they want to continue cooperation or decide to let go. We will discuss this issue later.

Q: What result can AlphaTauri expect in 2022?
Pierre Gasly: In a perfect world, second place behind Red Bull Racing, but that would be possible if everyone else failed to build a new car. The second place of our team is my wildest dreams, the realization of which is impossible.

Everyone will start the season with a clean slate, and we see it as an opportunity. On the other hand, there is also a great risk of error, so I prepare for all possible scenarios. Perhaps we will perform better than in 2021, perhaps we will remain at the same level, but it is possible that we will have to fight to get into the top ten. We need to stay realistic, but we want to think positively.

Question In the new season, the result will largely depend on the skill of the driver?
Pierre Gasly: I think the situation will remain approximately the same as in 2021. If the difference between the best and the worst car is reduced to half a second, then a lot will depend on the rider. At the moment, Mercedes and Red Bull are sometimes a second faster than everyone else, so it doesn’t matter who is behind the wheel, because the lag behind them is too far. Hopefully, thanks to the new regulation, the results will be denser.

Q: Are you looking forward to the 2022 season with hope or fear?
Pierre Gasly: With excitement, because both the team and I may have new opportunities. On the other hand, it is naive to think that this is a chance only for us, because any team can take a step forward. Based on how the preparations for the season are going, I am positive and looking forward to the tests in Barcelona. I hope we will bring the same surprise as Brawn GP in due time.

Source: Формула 1 на F1News.ru by www.f1news.ru.

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