The worst kept secret over the past two weeks in F1 has finally been confirmed. . Alpine have confirmed they have secured the release from the Frenchman from Red Bull Racing. Gasly is leaving the Red Bull family after 9 years having joined the Red Bull junior programme in 2014.
The Frenchman debuted for Torro Rosso in 2017 and was promoted to the senior team alongside Max Verstappen in 2017 only to be relegated again after just 12 races as he struggled to match his team mates performance.
Ocon welcomes Gasly on twitter
“We were just two little kids from normandy with an impossible dream. Welcome to the Alpine family Pierrot, let’s make our team and country proud.”
Not Alpine’s first choice
Alpine of course first choice was to retain Fernando Alonso for another year, but the Spaniard jumped ship to fill Vettel’s seat at Aston Martin when the German announced his retirement from F1. Alpine then announced Oscar Piastri as Alonso’s replacement but he’d already signed for McLaren F1.
“I am delighted to join the Alpine family and begin this new chapter in my Formula 1 career,” said Gasly. “Driving for a team that has French roots is something very special”
“I know the strengths of Alpine having raced against them over the past couple of years and, clearly, their progress and ambition is very impressive. I wish to thank Red Bull as this marks the end of our 9-year journey together.
“It is thanks to their trust and support that I became a Formula 1 driver, and what we’ve achieved with Scuderia AlphaTauri over the last years has been very special.
“Looking ahead, I want to give the maximum and utilise all my experience to fight for podiums and ultimately contribute to Alpine’s fight for championships in the future.”
Alpine team boss
Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer said: “I’m very happy that Pierre will be joining the team for 2023 and beyond. He is already a proven talent within Formula 1, and we are looking forward to harnessing that within the team.
“Our team has several objectives for the coming seasons and I firmly believe our driver line-up is a great reflection of the team’s high ambitions. I trust Pierre and Esteban can, together, motivate the team to continue its progress towards these goals. We would also like to thank Red Bull for agreeing the terms to allow Pierre to take this step.”
Despite the love in, the two drivers have a fractured history with their latest coming together at the French GP in 2021.
Di Resta ‘not a natch made in heaven’
Paul di Resta mused, “I think there’s no question Esteban did not want Pierre in his team, it would’ve been the last person he wanted. But that’s going to drive the team forward and its going to take management from the top level to say what is acceptable and what’s not acceptable.
Sometimes that drive will push the team and sometimes it will interfere. But the most important thing is they go out and represent that team [to the best of their ability]”
Esteban Ocon has 106 GP starts to Pierre Gasly’s 103, they both have an F1 race win with Gasly having made 3 podiums to Ocon’s two. Total points score: Gasly 332 and Ocon 338.
Pierre Gasly’s career at Red Bull had stalled. When Alex Albon left the senior team for the 2021 season, Gasly was not promoted again alongside Verstappen but instead the team chose to recruit Sergio Pérez.
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"They'll be professional, they'll work together to drive the team forward" 🤝
Otmar Szafnauer gives his thoughts on his team's 2023 line-up, with Pierre Gasly joining Esteban Ocon 🇫🇷 pic.twitter.com/rMJXqDhiP5
— Sky Sports F1 (@SkySportsF1) October 8, 2022