Gasly ‘wouldn’t be closer to Verstappen in RB18′

Sam Cooper
AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly and Red Bull's Max Verstappen laugh together at the 2022 Monaco Grand Prix. Monte Carlo, May 2022. F1 penalty points

Pierre Gasly does not believe he would be any closer to Max Verstappen in the RB18 than he was in the RB15.

In 2019, Gasly moved up from Toro Rosso to replace the departing Daniel Ricciardo at Red Bull but it was not a long stint in the hot seat.

As Red Bull shifted their focus in terms of car development towards Verstappen’s liking, it made it harder for the other driver, something Ricciardo then Gasly discovered.

The Frenchman did not last the season and was booted out after the summer break to be replaced by Alex Albon, who also experienced a similar problem.

Gasly rebuilt his career at AlphaTauri but has been struggling this season and said that he believed the lack of rear downforce is making it harder for him.

“[The loose rear] is something we are still struggling with,” Gasly said, as reported by motorsport-total.com. “I think it really depends on the characteristics of the car. Red Bull, for example, has a lot of downforce on the rear axle, which we don’t have enough of. So I think it really depends on which car you drive.”

 

AlphaTauri desperately need to stop the rot

Pierre Gasly said AlphaTauri were the slowest car on track in Austria, so they need upgrades. Fast.

The 2022 overhaul in regulations has promoted closer racing with a new ground effect designed to minimise the dirty air produced by the cars. Despite this, Gasly does not feel the new effect would allow him to be closer to Verstappen were they driving the same car again.

“Not really. It depends on the factors, but I don’t think the balance limited me then.

“Everyone has the impression that the driving is very different now to previous years, when in fact it’s not that different. I think it’s more the feeling. The cars are definitely stiffer and we’re driving much lower, whereas last year the cars were driven much steeper.”

Gasly has finished in the points just once in the last eight races as his 2022 season stumbles along. When asked to highlight the difference between this year’s AT03 and last season’s AT02, the Frenchman pinpointed the handling as a cause of concern.

“But now we are right on the ground, which means we have a lot more bumps in the car. Also, the handling is not as good as last year. In terms of just driving, though, I don’t feel like I’ve had to change much.

“I think my driving style changes over the course of a weekend depending on the conditions, the balance of the car and the tyre degradation. You’re constantly adapting to the balance of the car. So I think overall my driving style hasn’t changed fundamentally compared to last year.”