Christian Klien sees Alpine as career-saving move for Pierre Gasly

Jamie Woodhouse
Pierre Gasly arriving at the track. Barcelona, May 2022.

AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly arrives at the track ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix. Barcelona, May 2022.

Ex-Red Bull racer Christian Klien believes Alpine is the move that can save the career of Pierre Gasly as he leaves the Red Bull fold.

Having been a Red Bull-affiliated driver since debuting in Formula 1 in 2017, Gasly is now preparing to fly the nest as he switches from AlphaTauri to Alpine for 2023.

There Gasly will be part of an all-French setup, as he joins the French team and races alongside fellow Normandy native Esteban Ocon.

Gasly put himself in contention for a Red Bull return with an impressive 2021 campaign, scoring 110 points, which included a Baku podium, but overlooked by the Austrian outfit, Gasly has not hit the same heights in 2022 behind the wheel of a weaker AlphaTauri AT03.

Klien then believes this is the move that Gasly needs if he is to steer his career back on track.

“I think for Gasly it can just save his career,” said Klien on the F1 Nation podcast. “He I think got a little bit frustrated, a little bit unmotivated, at the situation at AlphaTauri and also that it’s clear that he’s not moving up to the number one team Red Bull again.

“And I think it’s just the right timing for him to get this fresh motivation again, to get to a factory drive [with] Alpine.”

Much has been made of the relationship between Gasly and his future team-mate Ocon, the pair admitting that they have not always been on the best of terms in the past, but are confident that they can work together to improve this situation and help the team.

Klien says that while there is clearly a bit of tension there, both drivers could also use this to push each other for the benefit of themselves and Alpine.

“Maybe they push each other as well?” Klien suggested on the Gasly, Ocon dynamic. “Of course, maybe there’s a little bit of tension there.

“But in the end, they are both old enough now to be on top of those little issues they had in the past.”

Asked to clarify whether tension actually matters between drivers, as he mentioned that this could help rather than hinder, Klien replied: “I think they can push each other if there’s a little bit of tension as well, if they pull together in the same direction. It can also help the team.”

Pierre Gasly and Otmar Szafnauer. Enstone, October 2022.
Pierre Gasly with Otmar Szafnauer. Enstone, October 2022.

Pierre Gasly was stagnating at AlphaTauri

There is no doubt that this move to Alpine comes at the perfect time for Gasly, who this season has often looked a shadow of the driver we saw behind the wheel of the AlphaTauri in 2021, who made a very strong case for a second chance at Red Bull.

The struggles of the AT03 have not helped, AlphaTauri P9 in the Constructors’ standings with four races to go, but there can be no denying the fact that Gasly has dropped down a gear or two this season.

He has said before that AlphaTauri could never beat Formula 1’s leading force Red Bull, so that realisation that he missed out on the top seat, left in one not anywhere near capable of competing at the front, most likely has caused Gasly to lose motivation to Klien’s point.

Now, he joins an Alpine team looking to secure P4 in the Constructors’ standings, possessing their own exclusive Renault power unit and intent on pushing up the order in the coming years. This is the perfect opportunity for Gasly.

Read more: Mark Webber tips Pierre Gasly to ’flourish’ in Alpine environment