Pierre Gasly says he is determined to step back into front-running equipment in the near future, describing himself as a “very different” driver to the one that was promoted to Red Bull back in 2019.
Gasly’s initial spell alongside Max Verstappen at Red Bull came at the start of his second full F1 season and lasted just 12 races, as he struggled to match the pace and consistency of the Dutchman.
Following a mid-season return to Toro Rosso (now AlphaTauri), Gasly quickly rebuilt his career, establishing himself as a clear team leader and impressing many in the paddock with his consistent points-scoring form.
He has also reached the podium on three occasions over the last three years – including a breakthrough victory at the 2020 Italian Grand Prix – and scored more points than ever before (110) during the 2021 campaign.
Gasly now feels “stronger” and “more complete”
After the initial disappointment of losing his dream seat at Red Bull, Gasly feels the aftermath has enabled him to develop significantly – on and off the track.
“Now, in 2022, I’m very different to the driver I was in 2019,” Gasly told RacingNews365.com, when asked about the steps he has made in recent seasons.
“I have more experience, I know more what I need from the team around me, from the car, what works, etcetera. I’m clearly a more complete driver. I guess, in the next three years, I’m also going to be even more complete.”
Gasly was then keen to point out how F1 differs from other sports, only adding to the importance of racking up experience year after year.
“You’ve got to understand that it’s not like any other sport, where you practice every single day – we actually don’t practice much,” he went on to comment.
“I believe every year is making a difference in your approach, and the experience and the situation that you’re facing, the problems that you’re facing, and kind of makes you stronger and more complete as a race driver.”
Gasly’s third successive season at AlphaTauri
Last weekend’s season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix marked the start of Gasly’s third straight campaign at AlphaTauri, as he once again battled his way to Q3 and looked set for points until a fiery exit from the race.
Asked whether he feels he now needs a change from his current environment, as Daniel Ricciardo did when he left Red Bull for Renault, or Lewis Hamilton when he left McLaren for Mercedes, Gasly played down the suggestion.
“Honestly, not really; it depends on the project that we have,” he explained.
“I think what I want is just a project, a common project with the people that I work with, with a common target.
“The most important [thing] to me is to feel that we are all working in the same direction for a similar goal.”
Is Gasly’s future at Red Bull or elsewhere?
Nonetheless, Gasly is readying himself for talks with Red Bull’s
chiefs to find out whether there will be a future opportunity alongside
Verstappen at the senior team, or if he will need to look elsewhere.
the end, we will have the conversation [when it] will be the right
time,” he said, referring to the likes of Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko
and Red Bull team boss Christian Horner.
“This year is confirmed with AlphaTauri for the full season and I’m in a happy place here.
“Obviously, my ambition is to have a car that allows me to fight for better positions, but right now I’m focusing 100 per cent at giving the best to this team. That’s what I did last year, that’s what I’m going to do this season, and then we’ll see what happens.”