Gasly describes midfield battle as ‘death’

Sam Cooper
Pierre Gasly waving. Montreal, June 2022.

AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly waves during the drivers' parade. Montreal, June 2022.

Pierre Gasly has described the midfield battle this year as “death” following his disappointing start to the campaign.

Since he rejoined Red Bull’s sister team, Gasly has been improving year on year. Earning a 10th place finish in the World Drivers’ Championship in 2020 and improving that by one place last season.

But this year has been one of frustration so far. The Frenchman is 11th in the standings, on just 16 points, and has finished just once inside the top five.

Gasly has been speaking of what has hampered his season and said the car was “completely different” to last year’s.

“The season has not started as we expected, we are having more difficulties with the car than we had planned at the beginning,” Gasly said at a Hawkers sunglasses event.

“It is a completely different car than last year’s and it has given us a lot of unforeseen events, as well as bad luck in several races. We have lost several points due to team mistakes and it’s a shame. We are trying to improve all together and I hope we will soon get the results we deserve.”

AlphaTauri are lagging behind in the midfield battle and are closer to the bottom of the table than they are to fourth. Gasly described this year’s fight for the ‘best-of-the-rest’ title as “death.”

“It’s going to be complicated to fight for the podium, but nothing is impossible,” the 26-year-old said.

“There are still many races to go, there are many opportunities ahead and in Formula 1 sometimes there are crazy races. At the moment we can’t fight for the podium but it’s clear that our goal is to be there as we can, we’ve done it in the past and it’s possible.

“Right now I consider our rivals to be Alfa Romeo, which is strong, Alpine, as always, and McLaren, which has proven to be strong in some races and we have even fought with them a few times. Mid-table is ‘death’ this year, it’s a big challenge.”

AlphaTauri boss Franz Tost recently confirmed that Gasly would be staying with the team for the 2023 season following speculation that he could leave in search of pastures new.

“He is showing fantastic performance,” Tost said. “Unfortunately, at the beginning of the season [he suffered] with a lot of reliability issues – for example, in Bahrain when the battery caught fire.

“Then there were some other reliability issues that were not his fault, it was coming from the team. I am really happy now that at least in Baku we could show how good he is.

“And I hope that we will provide him with a competitive car for the rest of the season because Pierre has the ability to be in front. It’s in the hands of the team to give him a really good competitive car.”