‘Older’ Pierre Gasly does not care about other teams’ testing times after P16 finish

Sam Cooper
Pierre Gasly in the Alpine car. Bahrain, February 2023.

Pierre Gasly in the Alpine car. Bahrain, February 2023.

While fans and the media may get excited over testing times, Pierre Gasly is not going to fall into that trap.

The Formula 1 season began in earnest on Thursday when cars hit the track in Bahrain for the first of three days of testing.

Gasly had more to test than most with him leaving the Red Bull family for the first time in his career to take up a seat at the works outfit in Alpine, and with that came a whole new car for him to get used to.

The Frenchman was given the morning session while his new team-mate Esteban Ocon was pictured out on track in the afternoon but Gasly said it was great to be back after a “long winter.

“It was good,” he told media including PlanetF1.com. “I must say it’s always great to be back in the car especially after such a long winter without racing. I was definitely excited to jump in the car.

“From the first feeling I got, [I am] pretty happy, pretty pleased. We’ve managed to run through most of our programme and the car reacts well so it’s just a lot of new parameters and new things to learn from me with that team change and new engineers, new car, new environment, new ways [of doing things]. Even sitting in the driver room, things are slightly different.

“So everything is new and I need to kind of get used to that new environment but so far, I’ve been really happy how the team has welcomed me.”

PlanetF1 recommends

Bahrain test Day One report: Max Verstappen mighty as F1 returns to action
Concern for Ferrari: ‘I’ve not seen anyone’s head bounce as much as Carlos Sainz’
Ferrari nose, Mercedes steering wheel and Red Bull sidepods all catch the eye in Bahrain

By the end of the day’s running, Gasly finished P16, narrowly ahead of team-mate Ocon, but he said he was not too worried about that at this stage.

He commented that a younger version of himself would have been more concerned but now as an “older” driver he does not care.

“Being younger I paid attention, now being older, I just don’t care,” Gasly said with a smile.

“When you go flat out in qualifying in Q1, then you can obviously try to work things out and have predictions. But then after knowing that the midfield is all going to be within three tenths.

“If you think they [the other teams] are running with 30, 40, 50 kilos [extra during the tests], it just mixes the whole thing up.

“So just try to do the best with what I have. Try to work on how I can cure this understeer there or oversteer there? How can I find one tenth? This will make more of a difference than working out how much of a gap there is and if we’re faster or slower.”

Additional reporting by Thomas Maher