Pierre Gasly has said he is feeling a “big difference” in his new surroundings at Alpine, after leaving the Red Bull stable in 2023.
Gasly was signed by the French constructor to replace Fernando Alonso for the new season, after it transpired that reserve driver Oscar Piastri had already signed a contract to race for McLaren.
With Gasly already being under contract with AlphaTauri for 2023, Alpine had to pay a release fee to Red Bull to secure his services on a multi-year contract from this season, where he will form an all-French line-up with Esteban Ocon.
It’s the first time Gasly has moved away from the Red Bull operation in his Formula 1 career, with his previous moves having been managed by Christian Horner and Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko.
When he was asked about the new path his career has taken, the 27-year-old is now in control of his own destiny and, after the moves that had to take place to bring him to Alpine, he spoke about how big a change it has been for him on a personal level compared to what he has experienced before.
“Not going to lie, it’s a big difference,” Gasly told media including PlanetF1.com when asked about the change in scenery and mindset at Alpine compared to Red Bull.
“That’s why I was really keen on making this move, because I saw how keen Alpine was on taking me and adding me to the team – and just it brings values, it brings trust, it brings confidence, and also ambitions, sharing the same ambition – so it’s a very different dynamic compared to Red Bull.”
Gasly added that he arrived at his new team with an open mind, not wanting to bring any preconceived ideas with him to Enstone and Viry and take everything in his stride – and he praised Alpine for how he has been welcomed into the team so far.
“I sort of came with no expectations, so very open minded because I know everything I’ll face will be very different,” he elaborated.
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“And it’s probably not the most accurate comparison, but it’s like when you go to watch a movie at the cinema if you come with already preconceptions and expectations, you’re probably not going to be very impressed by the movie, and if you just come with a very open mind, it’s usually a better a better surprise.
“I mean, that’s a bit like how I approached [the move]. I didn’t want to come with any sort of preconception of how the team will be and more like trying to see and analyse on my own [in the] first few days and just get comfortable with the environment.
“But the team made it very easy, as easy as they could and definitely trying to understand on both sides – I tried to understand what they do, the way they work, they tried to understand myself, what I need and what I require when I jump in the car, once I’m in the car, and so far it’s been very, like, flowing and I’m very relaxed, because I’m confident in what we’re doing.
“I can see they know exactly everything is well managed. So far, it’s been very good.”
Additional reporting by Thomas Maher