Pierre Gasly has revealed he sought assurances from the Renault Group CEO Luca de Meo about the long term plans surrounding the BWT Alpine F1 Team before committing to a move to the team for the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season.
The Frenchman has joined the Enstone-based team in place for the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula 1 Team bound Fernando Alonso ahead of the 2023 season to join countryman Esteban Ocon. It will mark Gasly’s first time racing in Formula 1 that he will not be in a Red Bull-backed team.
2023 will be Alpine’s third year in Formula 1 since the team was rebranded, and Gasly wanted to be sure what their plans and ambitions were for the future before he committed his own future to the team.
“I was also informed of the plans and projects for the next few years by Luca de Meo,” said Gasly to German publication Auto Motor und Sport. “I wanted to know how much Renault is behind this project.
“They will do everything to get to the top and being in an official team of a manufacturer gives a driver the guarantee of having the best possible material at the team’s disposal.”
Gasly’s final year with Scuderia AlphaTauri was not the kind of year he had wanted, with just twenty-three points scored across the twenty-two-race season, and he admitted it was hard seeing teams like Alpine seemingly disappear into the distance when pre-season he was hoping to beat them.
However, once it was clear where AlphaTauri were in relation to their rivals, he was able to re-evaluate and come to terms of his status, but he is pleased to be joining a manufacturer he feels can make their way to the front of the field.
“I’m not going to lie, [the] start of the year was quite painful to see them beating us and being ahead of us,” Gasly said to GPFans.com. “Obviously since the summer break, I’ve looked at it with a different eye, and that’s also, at the end of the day, why I wanted this so much.
“I’ve seen the trajectory over the last few years, the recruitments. I’ve had long conversations with Laurent Rossi [Alpine CEO], also, Luca and Otmar [Szafnauer, Alpine F1 team principal] on what the project is and what they want to achieve.
“As a manufacturer, they’re doing everything they can to really be fighting at the front, and now you can see that it’s paying off.”