Pierre Gasly has revealed he needed to leave emotion out of his decision to switch from Scuderia AlphaTauri to the BWT Alpine F1 Team ahead of the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season.
For the first time in his career, Gasly will not be part of a Red Bull-backed team in Formula 1, with the Frenchman having joined Scuderia Toro Rosso in 2017 before a twelve-race stint with Red Bull Racing in 2019. He returned to Toro Rosso in the second half of 2019 and earned his first podium finish in the Brazilian Grand Prix before the team morphed into AlphaTauri the following season.
Gasly went on to take a memorable victory in the 2020 Italian Grand Prix and helped AlphaTauri score their biggest points haul in their history in 2021 that included a podium finish in Azerbaijan, although 2022 was a year of disappointment with a car that was not as strong as the team would have liked as he scored only six top ten finishes.
For 2023, Gasly will join countryman Esteban Ocon at Alpine in place of the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula 1 Team bound Fernando Alonso, and although he has a lot of great memories with AlphaTauri, he needed to keep his emotions out of the decision to join a team that could potentially help further his career.
“Looking at a career, you need to be quite pragmatic,” said Gasly to Motorsport.com. “I know where I want to go, I know what I want to achieve in Formula 1.
“You’ve got to put emotions aside, and just look at it in a very pragmatic way: what are the best chances for me to reach my target? That’s why I was mainly driven by performance, and being in a place and in a car that would allow me to perform even better.”
Gasly acknowledges it is a big change not just for him but also for AlphaTauri, who will welcome Nyck de Vries as his replacement for the 2023 season.
“Clearly, I spoke already with all the team, all the engineers, all the mechanics,” Gasly added. “For me, they have been all my family my entire time in Formula 1. I spent what, five years, 90% of my time in Formula 1 with these guys.
“Obviously it’s going to be a big change, a big change for them as well to welcome a new driver when for the last five years, they have seen me coming [back at the] end of February, test in Barcelona, and see me leaving in Abu Dhabi.”