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Formula 1 Austrian GP

What convinced Gasly to stay on at 'miles off' Alpine for F1 2025

Alpine started the year at the back of the grid, but Pierre Gasly says there are plenty of good reasons to sign his new F1 deal

Pierre Gasly, Alpine F1 Team, in the garage

Pierre Gasly, Alpine F1 Team, in the garage

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Pierre Gasly could easily have been forgiven for thinking that Alpine is not the best place to make him a winner again in Formula 1.

After starting the campaign at the back of the grid, seeing key staff leave and there being talk of a potential end-of-works team status down the road, it has been a far from ideal season.

But after agreeing on a contract extension ahead of the Austrian GP that commits him to the French manufacturer, Gasly is adamant that Alpine can still deliver him everything that he wants.

Rather than thinking what has been witnessed in 2024 is a sign of where he thinks it will be over the next few years, he points to the fluctuating form of top teams like McLaren and Mercedes as evidence that performance never sits still for long in F1.

So instead of basing his final decision on how the A524 is performing now, he says what he is seeing behind the scenes – with infrastructure changes and a fresh approach – is far more critical to sealing his belief in what Alpine can offer.

"Personally, I've seen enough in F1 that you cannot rely on a single-car concept," he said.

"McLaren has proved it in the last two years, and Mercedes also showed they sometimes get it right and sometimes get it wrong. It takes some time to get back to the top.

"But it is mainly in the structure, in the facilities and in the technical stuff you are bringing. That was the most important to me, so that is why I tried to pay attention [to it].

"Over the last couple of months, I tried to see the dynamic going on at the factory and, regardless of the performance on the track, which is miles from where we want to be, we are trying to see solutions and things we can bring on board.

Pierre Gasly, Alpine F1 Team

Pierre Gasly, Alpine F1 Team

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

"Obviously Luca [de Meo] and Bruno [Famin] played a big part, as everyone is trying to defend what they have, and 2026 is also going to be a big change of regulations. It is why it took a bit of time before making my own decision."

While confirmation of his new deal comes just one week after the arrival of Flavio Briatore as a consultant to de Meo, Gasly is adamant that the Italian's presence in the team was not key to him putting pen to paper.

"No, Flavio didn't really influence," he said. "It was a long conversation over the last couple of months, but it was time to commit for my future. I am very happy and very excited to commit to the team, because it is also good to have some stability in my career.

"I went through Toro Rosso, Red Bull, back, and then to Alpine. But not always with a strong dynamic.

"And from what I am seeing from the team and from my relationship with the team, with Luca de Meo, with Bruno, it is going extremely well, and we have clear ambitions. I really like Luca's ambition and where he wants to bring the team over the next few years, and I trust in his management. I am very excited to be a part of the project."

While Briatore may only have been at Alpine a week, it has already become clear that he has been commissioned to complete a root-and-branch review of everything that the team is doing to get it back to the front.

It potentially marks a change of direction, but one that Gasly thinks was already underway back at Enstone in a bid to recover from the poor start to 2024.

Asked if Alpine was in need of an outsider to make some tough calls, Gasly said: "You have different approaches. I don't think there is a secret person or tool that can really trigger a big change.

"We talk a lot about the main figures of a race team but, when you see how many people are working back at the factory, finding the performance, finding the gains, in the wind tunnel, the CFD, mechanically…

Pierre Gasly, Alpine A524

Pierre Gasly, Alpine A524

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

"I've been going quite deep in the team in all the different departments and giving my input and working quite closely with them and trying to lead them to where I want. There is a very good and transparent communication.

"It will take some time to correct the slow start to the year that we had, but I do see some good potential. And hopefully with new people, already inside the team or coming outside, with new ideas and a strong desire to make the team great again, hopefully we can make it all work."

And with Briatore talking of a two-year target that he has laid down to get Alpine back near the front of F1, Gasly thinks it not impossible that where things are at by 2026 will be different to now.

"I am an optimistic person and a positive person, and I definitely welcome anyone who is coming to contribute positively to the team," he said.

"He has got very clear ideas and ambitions, and he has been there and won and he has worked with the team. He is very excited to bring all these ingredients to Enstone. If we can make it in two years, I'll be more than happy."

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