Yuki Tsunoda is certainly taking help from Pierre Gasly in his rookie F1 season, as the Frenchman looks to step up his gear in 2021.
The 2021 AlphaTauri pairing is certainly an exciting one, with the experienced Gasly finding his feat again in F1, alongside an upcoming fast racer in the form of Tsunoda. Both showed a good hand in the pre-season testing, with the latter impressing many.
Tsunoda is coming in after just the one season, each, in F3 and F2. He has had multiple F1 test runs in the old car, but it is never enough for rookies in current times. So far, he has done well in the pre-season testing, matching with the top half and even Gasly.
However, the true picture can only be ascertained when the season kicks-off. For Tsunoda, it is a positive boost still, and he is soaking in everything he can. A big hand is from the senior pro Gasly, who has found his mojo as well after his Red Bull drop.
“We made good progress in the pre-season test along with the car and myself driving,” said Tsunoda in the press conference. “Also, working with Pierre has been really good, we always have a similar feedback of the car for the team, so it is easier to take a step forward, to make the car better.
“I must say, Pierre is really helping me, especially with the tyre management in the race. Also, in F1, the wind effect is quite huge. The first day, I did struggle a bit using the wind, to make the car go faster. Pierre helped me in lot of things.
“But, as we are driving different tyres at different times, so it is hard to compare the driving and the pace [between us]. But as I said, the tyre management and the wind side, he definitely helps me,” summed up Tsunoda, who finished second on the final day.
For Gasly, it will be a big season again in 2021, as he looks to expand on his 2020 performance. One will be certainly to beat Tsunoda, to further push for a Red Bull return, while at the same time, drive as good, to be approached by other F1 outfits.
“I want to do better than last year,” said Gasly. “Obviously 2020 was a great year for all of us at AlphaTauri. I felt personally I performed better than my first two years in F1 and the target is to keep growing and keep putting stronger, performances.
“With 23 races it is gonna be a long season, it will be important to minimise all the mistakes, grab every opportunities we have similar to the past few years. But yeah, we’ll see, the first qualifying of the year will show, where we pretty much stand and what kind of result we can we can target for for the year,” summed up Gasly.
Here’s lap count from Bahrain F1 Test
Here’s Pierre Gasly after final day of testing