The importance of being Pierre Gasly

The importance of being Pierre Gasly Kyrosports
Image source: F1 Chronicle

Not everytime can a Formula 1 driver emerge with mind boggling results and that too, race after race. Alonso, despite having the second-best car on the grid in 2012, if not the fastest, couldn’t go all the way for Ferrari. Sebastian Vettel, right at the back of his four back-to-back titles with Red Bull, a stellar run that ended in 2013 (with the fourth and final title), was found wanting in front of the inexperienced Daniel Ricciardo.

The Australian smashed Vettel and bagged 238 points in the end as he clinched third on the Driver’s Standings in 2014. In a similar vein, despite not having an absolutely lovely season in 2022 (as seen so far), Pierre Gasly is not likely to be told to leave Alpha Tauri in 2023. 

His current side wouldn’t do the sacrilege of asking the main man to vacate a seat so that another interesting character could fit in. 

Gasly’s Alpha Tauri stint is both interesting and inspiring in equal measure. Well, interesting in that 2022 has been a year where Gasly has looked a frail shadow of himself; from fifteen races held so far, all that he’s managed are eighteen points.

And inspiring in a way in Pierre Gasly, Alpha Tauri have an experienced driver that can be trusted. 

Moreover, barring a little abrasiveness in his style of driving as seen this year, Pierre Gasly is redoubtable given the way he’s anchored the Italian Swiss Formula 1 team.

Be it his 2020 result with the Faenza-based team, wherein he scored a third of his 75 points in one single race (as seen at Monza), or having guided Yuki in that he gave the newcomer interesting competition to come up to speed, Gasly’s been performing on multiple fronts.

Factually speaking, Pierre Gasly has always seemed more at home at Alpha Tauri unlike Red Bull, where it wasn’t too difficult to sense the fact that the Max-discomfort had set in. 

But this is where things could get a touch interesting; it’s no longer just paddock grapevine but a belief in some circles that Gasly could move out of Alpha Tauri come 2023. 

So how do the dynamics work out? 

Lest it is forgotten, there’s still a vacant seat at Alpine. 

With Ocon already confirmed as the future of the side, the big next decision that has to be taken there confines itself to the next man now that Alonso’s switched to Aston Martin for 2023 onwards. 

Red Bull adviser Dr Helmut Marko said ahead of the Dutch Grand Prix that he would not “stand in Gasly’s way” if he wants to leave, provided Alpine pays the 26-year-old’s buyout clause.

Furthermore, former world champion Nico Rosberg shared his piece of mind concerning where Pierre Gasly might go next. In so doing, the 2016 hero touched upon his own equation with Sir Lewis Hamilton back in those halcyon days at Mercedes. 

“ I think maybe you remember Lewis and I weren’t exactly best friends and yet we were dominating so I think for a team it can still work even if the drivers don’t get on if they are superfast,” the Monaco based former driver told Sky Sports.

He’d further add, “For me, for Alpine, Gasly is the perfect choice, he has been performing so well, I think that would be a really strong line-up for them. Let’s see how much they have to pay Red Bull.”

On his part, Gasly’s performances have sort of single handedly buoyed Alpha Tauri’s presence in the midfield, converting a team that was all but a backmarker, well almost, into a competitive midfielder. 

Need proof? 

Let’s take 2020 for an example. Alpha Tauri were the best of the rest that season with 107 points against their name. Gasly, on his own, accounted for 75 of those and in so doing, captured P10 on the Driver’s Standings. 

A year later, he would continue to play a handy role in the midfield resurgence of Alpha Tauri as he collected a respectable P9 in the end with 110 points.

Alpha Tauri further soared in the performance chart scoring 142 points in the end as they took sixth on the Constructor Standings. Gasly, on his own, scored 110; a feat that would see the French driver exceed the likes of Spanish Fernando Alonso and German Sebastian Vettel. 

These were performances that Franz would raise a Tost for! 

Only this year Pierre Gasly’s troubles have magnified whilst competing in a car that flies at not exactly the speed of a tracer bullet; he’s only scored in one of the previous four races. 

Despite having Ferrari supply engines to the team, things have turned out to be promising- but far from being- a fascinating scenario. 

What’s heartening is to note that former F1 drivers of the class and credibility of Nico Rosberg have already placed their weight behind one of the sport’s interesting characters that habitually wears a front of the cap towards the back. 

In an era constantly obsessed with just the frontrunners, Gasly’s performances at Alpha Tauri have truly affirmed the rise of the midfield. 

It’s where the action happens. It’s where the race gets narratives that aren’t only and exclusively tied to the front of the pack. 

But just imagine what could happen if one of France’s finest exports to Grand Prix Racing was to go Alpine way?

Maybe results akin to a famous mountain hike would come our way? 

Pierre Gasly to Alpine might not be confirmed news for now but it sure is an exciting prospect.

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