‘Engineer’ Pierre Gasly has ‘had some influence’ on Alpine’s A523

Sam Cooper
Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly sat next to the A523. February 2023.

Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly sat next to the A523. February 2023.

Pierre Gasly may be new to the Alpine team, but technical director Matt Harman has revealed that he has had some influence on the team’s 2023 car.

The Frenchman made the switch from AlphaTauri to Alpine at the end of 2022 with Gasly opting to leave the Red Bull family in order to take up a seat at a works team.

In moving to a new team, Gasly has experienced an entirely new way of working including a new team principal, new team-mate, new HQ and crucially a new car to get used to.

During the launch of Alpine’s A523 in London, Harman said the team had to work to make sure both Gasly and Esteban Ocon, who are separated by 9 cm in height, were “comfortable” and the Alpine chief also confirmed Gasly had given some input into the new car.

“He’s had some influence since his arrival,” Harman said when asked by PlanetF1.com, “obviously, we’ve had to make sure that he’s comfortable in the car and he’s got all the controls and systems that he needs, but he’s given us some great feedback.

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“He’s given us some things to think about in the development of the car. He’s a good engineer as well as a driver and I think that comes across in the conversations I’ve had so far.

“At the moment, after the filming days, he was very happy. He’s very comfortable with the car, he lives the behaviour and current characteristics so let’s hope we can build on that.”

As well as a new team, it is a new engine for Gasly to get used to having previously run the Honda power unit in his AlphaTauri car. Executive director at Alpine’s Viry-Châtillon base Bruno Famin revealed Gasly had informed them how the Honda engine worked.

“It’s interesting,” Famin told media including PlanetF1.com. “Of course, he doesn’t know how the engine is made but he knows how it works.

“Of course it’s interesting to have a benchmark and it’s interesting, having some clue about how to improve our own energy management.

“What does that mean? Well, I’m not going to define many points because, to be honest, since 2022 I believe all the power units are placed in a narrow window.

“Much, much more reduced compared to 2021, I think we have really closed the gap with the top ones. We don’t have the best PU, of course, but the gap is really close.”