Gasly would not change time at Red Bull “for anything” · RaceFans

Pierre Gasly says that he would not change anything about his tenure at Red Bull as he departs AlphaTauri for Alpine.

Gasly, who first joined the Red Bull junior team for his season in Formula Renault 3.5 in 2014, raced his final grand prix for Red Bull-owned AlphaTauri during last weekend’s season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. He will join Alpine for the 2023 season, alongside Esteban Ocon.

The 26-year-old raced almost 100 grands prix with AlphaTauri and drove 12 times for Red Bull’s senior team over the first half of the 2019 season before being demoted back to AlphaTauri (then known as Toro Rosso) over the summer break due to disappointing performances.

Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri, Monza, 2020
Gasly won a race for AlphaTauri

Asked by RaceFans for his feelings around his final race with AlphaTauri, Gasly said it had not sunk in that he will no longer be with the team he has raced with for so long.

“I don’t think it has hit me yet,” Gasly said, “because I’ve just been dressing up the same way, same clothes the last five years. Wearing the same colours and working with the same people, going to the simulator.

“After such a long time, you go beyond a working relationship. I know most of the guys’ kids, wives, where they live. We share a lot more personal connection.”

Gasly’s grand prix debut came with the team near the end of the 2017 season in Malaysia. After losing his Red Bull drive, Gasly famously won the Italian Grand Prix at Monza in 2020. He says those two races stand out the most when he looks back at his time at AlphaTauri.

“Obviously the win definitely comes first,” he said. “I will say my first race as well in Malaysia – you only get one first and this was very, very special because I didn’t expect it.

“I still remember Helmut [Marko, Red Bull sporting advisor] calling me: ‘okay, you’re not going to be a reserve driver, but you’re racing for Toro Rosso this weekend’. I was jumping on my bed in Malaysia. God knows which hotel I was in, but it wasn’t so great for them! But it was a very unique memory.”

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Gasly says that his time as part of the Red Bull ecosystem over the last eight seasons been critical to his development as a driver.

“My time at Red Bull I know has been also very useful in understanding as a driver what I need,” he explained. “Now I know I have much clearer ideas of what I want as a driver.

Pierre Gasly, Red Bull, Hockenheimring, 2019
Gasly raced 12 rounds with Red Bull in 2019

“I came there very fresh without clear mindsets and clear direction as to what kind of driver I am and what I need. Now I know that. I know my driving style and I know how to operate at my best. So I think I’ve learnt a lot over the past five years, but definitely always relate the good results with the best memories.”

Despite the setback of losing his drive at Red Bull, Gasly insists he has no hard feelings over never getting a second chance at the senior team.

“Not at all,” he said. “This was my career and my story with Red Bull.

“I really believe that whatever was meant to happen, happened and it’s meant to be like that. I’ve learnt a lot. I think I’m definitely in a much stronger position, I’m a much stronger driver than I was. I’m the person that I am today thanks to the experience that I had out there. I’ve grown up a lot, whether it was on track or off the track. If you ask me, I will not even change it for anything.

“I just know I’m 26 now, every year I’m getting better – like a good red wine. I don’t know where this is going to stop, but I just know personally, I just keep getting better and I know the best is yet to come. So I’m really grateful for what’s happened.”

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