Pierre Gasly leaves Red Bull stable ‘a much better driver’ after prior struggles

Jamie Woodhouse
Pierre Gasly waving. Montreal, June 2022.

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

Pierre Gasly says the experiences with Red Bull have made him a far better driver, including that underwhelming stint in their senior team.

Gasly was one of the longest-serving members of the Red Bull programme, joining back in 2014 ahead of his debut in Formula 1 with Toro Rosso three years later.

His story since has been one of incredible highs and lows, from his Red Bull demotion after only half a season alongside Max Verstappen, to leading their rebranded AlphaTauri team to victory at Monza in 2020.

Now Gasly embarks on pastures new with Alpine, looking to push the team closer to Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes at the front of the grid.

But when he looks back on the time with Red Bull, there is nothing that Gasly would change, even that ropey half-season in 2019 as Verstappen’s team-mate.

Asked if he regrets not having been given another opportunity in the Red Bull team, Gasly, as per Motorsport.com’s French arm, replied: “Not at all.

“That’s my career, that’s my story with Red Bull. I really believe that what was supposed to happen happened. I have learned a lot. I am convinced that I am in a much better position, I am a much better driver than I was before.

“I am the person I am today because of the experience I had there. I have grown a lot, both on and off the track. If you ask me, I wouldn’t change that for the world.

“I just know that I’m 26 now and I’m getting better every year, like a good red wine. I don’t know how far it will go, but I just know that personally I keep getting better and better and I know that the best is yet to come. So I’m really grateful for what’s happened.”

Discussing in more detail his areas of improvement as a Red Bull-associated driver, Gasly said he has developed a much clearer understanding of what he needs as a racer to perform.

“My time at Red Bull has been very helpful in understanding what I need as a driver,” said Gasly. “I now have a much clearer idea of what I want as a driver.

“I came in without a clear mindset, without a clear path to take as to what kind of driver I am and what I need. Now I know that. I know my driving style and I know how to develop to my best level. I’ve learned a lot in the last five years, but I always associate good results with the best memories, definitely.”

Alex Albon, Carlos Sainz perfect examples for Pierre Gasly

If there was even the slightest doubt for Gasly in relation to his career outside of Red Bull, then he need not look further than the examples set by Sainz and Albon.

Sainz made his Formula 1 breakthrough alongside Verstappen at Toro Rosso in 2015, Verstappen accelerated up through the ranks into a Red Bull seat the following year, while Sainz found himself struggling to really get going.

After a loan at Renault, he left the Red Bull set-up to join McLaren for 2019 and completely changed his career course, going on to switch to the now front-running Ferrari team.

Albon meanwhile was the Red Bull driver who came after Gasly and also struggled to lay a glove on Verstappen. Clearly devoid of confidence as he was dropped to reserve and test driver in 2021, Albon returned to the grid with Williams in 2022, taking over from George Russell and quickly establishing his position as team leader.

Landing himself a new multi-year deal, Albon reflected on 2022 as his best season yet in Formula 1, and it would be hard to argue.

Now, it is time for Gasly to write his story with his home team Alpine.

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