Grand prix

Pierre Gasly’s 1st impression of Alpine after debut in Abu Dhabi test | F1

The Frenchman got his first run out for the Enstone-based outfit on Tuesday at the Yas Marina Circuit, completing 130 in total.

It’s the first time that Gasly has driven a non-Red Bull car having spent the entirety of his career with either Red Bull or AlphaTauri (Toro Rosso).

Speaking to the media after the test, Gasly had a glittering review of Alpine, saying he understands why they finished fourth in the constructors’ standings.

“Very happy, very positively surprised and everything went so smoothly,” Gasly said. “Obviously [I] came today with an open mind because it’s the first time I’m changing complete environment, complete new car, and initially everything felt different – steering feeling, throttle pedal stroke, steepness of the pedals, the way it reacts, everything’s kind of surprising at the start.

“But we managed to get everything we wanted to, very quickly I felt comfortable in the car and I understand now why they finished fourth in the teams’ championship and it all makes sense to me. So I’m very excited for what’s coming.

“I can definitely spot some very good strengths from this car and the potential it has. As I said, they finished fourth in the championship for a reason and now I understand this reason, just from the package and the way the team operate, the engineers in their mindset and the philosophy there is in the team.”

Alpine enjoyed their best season as a team since their days as Lotus back in 2013.

While they didn’t manage to finish on the podium or win a race, like they did in 2021, they had the fourth-fastest car for much of the year.

After an encouraging first test, Gasly is confident of achieving “fantastic results” in F1 2023.

“I had a much more pleasant year in 2021 than 2022 and that’s purely the fact I haven’t had the competitiveness and the speed to really show much,” he added.

“Obviously people look at what happens at the front. I think some will say past second place they don’t even pay attention anymore – I’ll say maybe past eighth, then you don’t really see what happens at the back.

“So I really believe this team is a fresh start for me and an opportunity to make something amazing together. They have had their best season so far since they came back, I think they are on a trajectory improving season after season.

“From what I’ve seen today, from what they have shown the whole season, I’m definitely confident what we can achieve together next year can be very impressive. I’m very confident from what I’ve seen today there’s potential to achieve fantastic results.”

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