Formula One driver Pierre Gasly left his F1 home that has been the Red Bull family since he was inducted into the team’s junior programme in December 2013. Having been promoted to the senior team alongside Max Verstappen in 2019, Pierre’s star appeared to be in the ascendancy as he replaced the outgoing Daniel Ricciardo. Yet the French drivers’ dreams were short lived.
Gasly struggled early season but having retired in Bake, round 4, he scored points at the following six races but finished a lap behind the leaders at the Canadian, French and Austrian Grand Prix, the last of which was won by his team mate.
Gasly missed his chance
Pierre’s best result came with a P4 at the British GP though as the summer break approached he was under increasing pressure to contribute more points to the team’s effort. At the Hungarian GP he finished 6th but was lapped Verstappen.
After the chequered flag Red Bull team principal Christian Horner and Red Bull consultant both gave Pierre a vote of confidence saying he would remain in the top team at least until the end of the season.
Within four weeks by the Belgium GP, Gasly was dropped back to drive for Toro Rosso.
During the intervening years to has felt as though Pierre was merely treading water with the junior team now named Alpha Tauri and it seemed inevitable he would jump or be pushed sooner or later.
Alpine F1 Pierre’s new home
Gasly will now pair up with fellow French driver Esteban Ocon at his new home with the French sponsored Alpine team.
Formula One will see a number of rule changes for 2023, one of which will be trailed at the first two events. To become more economical with tyres the FIA has reduced the total allocation for each car by 2 sets and mandated the hard tyre will must be run in Q1, the medium in Q2 and the soft in Q3.
Yet it’s not this that Pierre Gasly particularly objects to and just weeks before the season begins the French driver has criticised the FIA for increasing the number of Sprint races from 3 to 6. Further, Gasly believes the motivation for this is merely down to generating more money.
Gasly criticises FIA rule change
“Personally I really like the normal format with the qualifying on Saturday and then one Grand Prix on Sunday. Sprint races – I see the positives financially for the organisation.
“In terms of spectacle, it still hasn’t proved to me that it’s worth having more and more races. So in my opinion, the normal format is better.”
Sprint weekends see competitive on track action for each of the three days of an F1 weekend. Qualifying is on Friday, the Sprint race is held Saturday afternoon with the GP in its usual slot on Sunday.
In addition to the 2022 venues where sprint races were held in Austria, Austin Texas and Brazil, the opening event will be at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in April while Qatar will also host a sprint weekend on the country’s F1 return. The one year deal Belgium has secured will see the famous Spa circuit allocated the final sprint race.
F1 power unit allocation uncertain
With originally 24 Formula events scheduled for the season, the teams’ power unit allocation for the year was set to rise from 3 to 4. However with the cancelation of the Chinese grand prix despite the increase in sprint races, at present the allocation will remain at 3. However, TJ13 has been informed in light of the extra wear and tear provided by more sprint races, the FIA has been petitioned to reconsider leaving the allocation per driver at 4 for the year.
However, the teams have been awarded more budget for the sprint events as the allocation within the cost cap now doubles from $150,000 per sprint to $300,000.
F1 Sprint race in Austria questionable
While the sprint provides the race promoters with an extra incentive for fans to buy Friday tickets, a number of drivers have cautioned the 1/3rd grand prix race distance sprint event can be predictable. With no mandated tyre change or chance of significant tyre degradation the sprints can result in large DRS trains and a processional race.
Lewis Hamilton warned last year that F1 should ensure it only selects circuits renown for overtaking to prevent the sprint losing its competitive edge.
BBC’s Steve Rider returned to Imola towards the end of 1994, to film a tribute to the late Ayrton Senna, which was screened on BBC2, 1st January 1995. #F1 #AyrtonSenna 🇧🇷
➡️ https://t.co/62XNEoBCUm pic.twitter.com/Vi4vDviM8z
— F1 in the 1990s 🚦🏎🏁🏆🍾 (@1990sF1) January 1, 2023