Pierre Gasly is targeting a top-five finish for AlphaTauri in the 2021 Formula 1 constructors’ World Championship.
AlphaTauri were an archetypal midfield team this season, although they finished seventh of 10 in the standings with 107 points, 24 behind Ferrari.
In terms of the top five, they were 74 adrift of Renault at the end of a campaign in which Gasly’s shock victory in the Italian Grand Prix was their highlight by a country mile.
But the ambition for the Italy-based outfit is to eventually be a real challenger to the Red Bull team under the same ownership.
“We were in the top five cars a few times in 2020. That should be the goal,” said the Frenchman, whose new team-mate is Japanese rookie Yuki Tsunoda, brought in to replace Daniil Kvyat.
“We are not far from that. It was the team’s most successful year. Still, we were only seventh.
“We have to give more, make it even better. We are not far from the boys in front of us. Hopefully we will end up among the top five in the constructors’ Championship in 2021.”
Gasly also reflected on how close the midfield battle had been in 2020, with five teams separated by fine margins from race to race.
“I think we did very well this season. It was Alpha Tauri/Toro Rosso’s most successful year in team history. We should be very happy about it,” he added.
“Of course, the final result was pretty brutal considering the work and effort we put into it. But that shows how close it was in the midfield.
“It mixes quite a lot, depending on the circuit. Seventh place doesn’t sound great. But I feel the team increased the pace in many areas.
“The team has become a strong midfield team. We set out to do even better in 2021. We built a good momentum. Hopefully we can take another step next season.”
Asked what was missing to lift AlphaTauri closer to McLaren, Racing Point and Renault, Gasly replied: “Generally a bit of downforce compared to those teams.
“We saw every weekend that things are extremely close. Two or three tenths more and we would jump almost two rows forward in qualifying.
“For example, I missed fourth place against [Alex] Albon in the first Bahrain race by two tenths and started eighth.”