Pierre Gasly is feeling “good” and ready to take on the 2021 F1 season, a year in which he hopes to achieve “great things” with AlphaTauri.
Last month Gasly added his name to the growing list of Formula 1 drivers testing positive for the coronavirus.
The Frenchman tested positive while training in Dubai, and received a bit of a backlash on social media as photographs of him interacting with fans made the rounds.
The good news, though, is Gasly has recovered and says he is fighting fit ahead of the new season.
“Unfortunately, I tested positive for Covid at the end of January,” he said at the launch of the 2021 AlphaTauri AT02, “but luckily, I felt good, so I could continue training in my apartment.
“A slight cough for a couple of days did not stop me, I wasn’t tired at all, so I could go on with my training programme. I didn’t miss anything and I’m ready for the new season.”
— Scuderia AlphaTauri (@AlphaTauriF1) February 19, 2021
This year’s championship marks Gasly’s second full season in his second AlphaTauri stint but it is his third full season with the team having raced for the team in 2018 after joining them in the final five races of the previous season.
His 2020 championship was a breakthrough season as he claimed his maiden race win at the Italian Grand Prix.
He became only the second driver in the team’s history, the first being Sebastian Vettel, to win a grand prix.
“I put my good results last year down to being more experienced, as it was my third season in F1 and also the first time I had stayed for a second full season with the same team,” he said.
“I’d say it was mainly the continuity from 2019 that paid off, working with the same engineers, having a better understanding of what we are doing and as a team we all succeeded in exploiting the experiences from the previous two years.
“I’m always hungry for more, so I’m sure we can achieve great things also in 2021.”
Applauding last year’s AT01, the 25-year-old hopes this year’s car is a further step forward.
“The car did seem pretty good,” he said. “Where we are in the mid-field, all the teams made a lot of progress and the gaps are very small.
“We finished seventh in the championship, but there were times when we were fighting to be the fourth or fifth best car in the field. We were fighting some very good teams that have big budgets and a lot of experience.
“Last year, we had a car that allowed us to fight with them and I got through to Q3 quite often. This year I hope we can make a step up, that will allow us to be nearer the front of the midfield.”