Pierre Gasly is happy to deliver results at AlphaTauri while not thinking of his F1 future, as Dr. Helmut Marko talks about the Frenchman and Yuki Tsunoda.
The 25-year-old Gasly, 16 points in the first five races, with four point position finishes, is building a great reputation in F1. Debuting at Round 15 of 20 during the 2017 season with Toro Rosso, he was promoted to the main team, Red Bull, in 2019. Despite nine point finishes, he was demoted back to Toro Rosso at Round 13 the same season.
In 2020, at Monza, he became the second Toro Rosso/AlphaTauri race winner, achieving what only Sebastian Vettel accomplished with the Faenza based team. But many are fearing that Gasly’s career has a ceiling, and that he should leave Red Bull to achieve his full potential.
For Gasly, it is another year of not looking what others are saying and writing, but focusing on the job and doing as much where he is at. After a fine 2020, the 2021 start has been a mixed one for him alongside rookie Tsunoda, who is learning as well.
“I am very happy with the way it goes with team, also myself, I think I have developed well, over the last two years with a bit more experience,” said Gasly. “I have clearer ideas of where I want to go with the car to go fast. I am working really well with the team. This year we have Yuki as a teammate, it is not easy for him as a rookie, I think we are working well.
“Personally, I feel I have made small steps, I want to fight at the front, that’s my target and Helmut and Christian are really happy with my job and we will keep it that way,” summed up Gasly, who seems to have no other option but to stay at AlphaTauri.
Despite the sayings from fans and alike, who wanted the Frenchman to sign with Alpine, Gasly has two more years of contract with Red Bull, allowing him to work for either Red Bull or AlphaTauri. The French outfit, too, ruled out any talks with the driver, as they look to retain the services of Esteban Ocon.
The chances of Gasly to return to Red Bull, replacing Sergio Perez, are slim. But the door remains open, as Dr. Helmut Marko noted. If I remember it correctly, Gasly’s contract runs for two more years,” he said in an interview to Motorsport-Total. This is a contract that allows him to work for either Red Bull or Alpha Tauri.
“We are not thinking about the driver pairing [Red Bull] at the moment. We will think it through during the summer break and then make our decisions.” His commitment to develop AlphaTauri into a better F1 team pushed Gasly to move his residence in Italy in June 2020, to be closer to the factory.
It is a move that now Marko has suggested to Tsunoda for his development. “We have decided that Yuki is moving to Italy,” he said. “There he will be under the personal supervision of Franz Tost. Franz will supervise his daily routine: a lot of fitness, karting, technical work in the factory.
“His development has certainly not been positive [so far]. But with the mistakes that have happened, it is clear that his self-confidence has suffered. That’s why the move from England to Italy. It’s not only so that he can be in control but also so that he can live in a certain security. The potential is still there. But we have to steer it in the right direction now,” summed up Marko.
Tsunoda is viewed as the next big Red Bull star, but he has failed to impress during the last four races of this season, after a solid debut in Bahrain. The Japanese F1 driver realises the shortcomings certainly and is working to fight back during the course of 2021.
Here’s Pierre Gasly on overcut working in Monaco
Here’s Yuki Tsunoda on F1 podcast
Here’s Alpine on wanting to retain Esteban Ocon, no Pierre Gasly
The story was written by Lorenzo Liegi