AlphaTauri driver ‘continuity’ key with new 2022 regs

Henry Valantine
AlphaTauri pair Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda are interviewed. Qatar November 2021.

AlphaTauri’s chief technical officer Jody Egginton thinks keeping Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda for 2022 is the right move with mass regulation changes on the way.

The cars will alter radically heading into next season and AlphaTauri have decided maintaining their current driver line-up will help them out as they make the transition.

Gasly is having a sterling season with the team, having amassed 92 points and been a regular feature in the top 10 all season long.

Tsunoda has struggled by comparison, meanwhile, scoring only 20 points in that time.

There are mitigating factors for him in that he had never raced at many of the Formula 1 tracks before this season, and the young Japanese driver has been self-critical at times too – admitting recently he needs to “improve physically” to be able to compete at a higher level in Formula 1.

Pierre Gasly celebrates after finishing third in the Azerbaijan GP. Baku June 2021.

The team’s technical director feels they are already on a positive trajectory overall, and having their two drivers carry on for another year is no bad thing from their point of view.

“A lot of people say it’s good to have continuity with the drivers when you are tackling a new set of rules,” said Egginton, quoted by Motorsport-Total.

“We’ve obviously known Pierre for a long time. He has confidence in us and we have faith in him. Considering new rules are always associated with risks, it’s a very positive thing to know you have continuity with the drivers because we are also on a kind of journey as a team.

“We are a young team and we are building up our experience. Having Pierre on board next year means one variable fewer, and next year there will be enough variables with the car and everything else. So it’s really fantastic.

“We’ll see where we stand then. We have our philosophies and we develop the car in a certain way. I hope that will help us move forward.

 

“Everyone can already see we are on a reasonable path as a team and hopefully it can continue in the same way.”

This season, AlphaTauri remain locked in a battle with Alpine to take P5 in the Constructors’ Championship, although an excellent weekend for Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon in Qatar allowed the Enstone team to open up a 25-point lead over their rivals heading into the final two races of the year.