Pierre Gasly: ‘Massively overweight’ AT03 the ‘main issue’ in 2022

Jamie Woodhouse
Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri, in the pit lane. Suzuka, October 2022.

AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly in the pit lane at the Japanese Grand Prix. Suzuka, October 2022.

Pierre Gasly said AlphaTauri were battling an AT03 with major weight issues in his final season with the team, that their main limitation.

Red Bull’s sister team enjoyed their most productive season yet in 2021, scoring 142 points to finish P6 in the Constructors’ Championship.

Hopes were high then going into 2022 and a new regulatory era, but AlphaTauri would sink down to P9 in the final standings, scoring just 35 points and ahead of only Williams.

As for the main cause of their struggles, Gasly said that AlphaTauri were unable to get the AT03 to an acceptable weight, this hurting them in qualifying especially. Gasly dropped out in Q1 six times across the season.

“I do feel like the core of the car is great, but we’ve just been massively overweight all season,” Gasly told media personnel, including PlanetF1.com. “Just on that it cost us a lot in qualifying. I do believe that was the main issue this season.

“Clearly didn’t perform nowhere near what we would have liked and personally what I would have liked for the team.”

Gasly went into the season optimistic with the budget cap and new regulations at play, believing that AlphaTauri should have been at the head of the midfield pack.

When that turned out not to be the case, he retained hope as the development race was set to play a pivotal role in how AlphaTauri’s position in the pecking order progressed, yet the team still failed to move forwards.

“It was trickier because there were obviously very high expectations coming from last season,” said Gasly. “There was a great momentum, there was a change of regulations with the target from F1 to kind of put the field all together.

“So let’s say my hopes to have the best year for AlphaTauri were never as high as they were at the start of the season. I really thought ‘okay, we have our chances, budget cap is coming in, so we have no reasons not to outperform all the midfield teams’.

“And yeah, we didn’t start the year in the best shape, but at that time I didn’t really care so much, because I knew it will be a race of developments for the year. I just knew that it doesn’t really matter where you start, you just needed to put this development on the car race after race. And unfortunately, we didn’t manage to do that.”

Alpine well set to satisfy the expectations of Pierre Gasly

If Gasly was confidently predicting AlphaTauri to establish themselves as the leading midfield outfit in 2022, then the Frenchman will surely carry similar expectations at the very least into his new team Alpine.

Fortunately the French manufacturer are in the best position possible to achieve exactly that going into the new season, having secured that ‘best of the rest’ P4 position in the Constructors’ standings.

And when it came to upgrades, which as Gasly mentioned failed to make a significant impact for AlphaTauri, over at Alpine their developments appeared to make the team more competitive with each introduction, a further positive sign for Gasly.

If Alpine continue their current trajectory, which AlphaTauri could not do from 2021 to 2022, then Gasly should be in a midfield-leading car at the very least for 2023, perhaps with the potential to push for a return to the podium, where he has proudly stood three times so far in his career, once as the winner of the 2020 Italian Grand Prix.

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