Belting out Adele’s ‘Hello’ like no one was listening, Pierre Gasly is going to miss Yuki Tsunoda’s “no-filter behaviour” when he moves to Alpine.
Gasly and Tsunoda have been team-mates at AlphaTauri for the past two seasons, but it is now time for the Frenchman to move on.
He’s signed a multi-year deal with Alpine, one that’s likely to yield a very different partnership to what he current has with Tsunoda.
Taking on the big brother role as he has helped guide the 22-year-old through his first couple of seasons in F1, the two have been good for each other on the track and also off it.
Often featuring on Gasly’s Instagram account as they spend time together even away from the PR duties, the friendship has grown.
“He feels like a little brother,” Gasly told the official F1 website. “The past two years, we have lived a lot of good moments together.
“I’ve seen him developing himself, improving himself a lot over the past 18 months.
“At the end of the day, in F1 that’s the way it goes – you have to be selfish in a way, you have your own career and need to do what is best for yourself.
“But I’m definitely going to miss Yuki, and his no-filter behaviour day after day.”
The highlight of that was their karaoke collaboration on how to butcher ‘Hello’.
— Yuki Tsunoda Brasil 🇧🇷🇯🇵 (@YukiTsunodaBR) October 4, 2022
Gasly is confident swapping teams won’t damage the friendship, after all he plans on moving into Tsunoda’s neighbourhood.
“His taste for food is going to be missed but I’m sure we will have time off track,” he said.
“I’m trying to get him closer to Milan, so we can live not too far from each other. We’ll see how that goes.
“He is definitely a great dude, and I’ll miss him.”
Swapping a friend for a frenemy
Gasly will say goodbye to his friend at the end of this season, instead teaming up with his frenemy of yesteryear – Esteban Ocon.
Boyhood friends, their relationship broke down as the years of competing against one another built up, Gasly saying: “I started to beat him and he didn’t like it so we’re not friends anymore.”
But in 2023 they have to bury that animosity and work together to push Alpine forward.
Gasly believes they can do it: “We are a lot more mature, a lot more responsible – and at the end of the day, we have a common target; we both want to be competitive we both want to be fighting at the front. And we know to achieve that, we have to work together for the team.”
That’s all good and well for now, Alpine is a team fighting for points not podiums. But what happens when the champagne’s involved, or when it’s the top step of the podium, or the World title?
While they are not the kids of yesteryear, both having grown up, the Alpine relationship could be the one to watch if, or when, the team comes good.
As Gasly said: “It’s very exciting!”