Pierre Gasly admitted that he expected a more complicated 2020 season than he actually experienced.
The Frenchman played a vital role in helping AlphaTauri claim seventh place in the 2020 constructors’ championship by turning in an outstanding campaign that was capped off with a sensational maiden F1 victory at the Italian Grand Prix.
Gasly scored 75 points and took 10th place in the drivers’ standings as AlphaTauri enjoyed its best season in F1, passing the 100-point mark for the first time in its history. The Faenza squad ended the year just 24 points behind Ferrari and was 74 points adrift of fifth-placed Renault.
“It’s been a very successful year for us,” Gasly said. “Obviously, reaching I think the most points this team ever scored in their all F1 history, so it’s great to be part of this.
“At the same time, you know, we have over 100 points and we only seventh in the team championship, which in the past would have I think, some years given us like a fifth place or maybe even fourth.
“It just shows how tight it is in the midfield, and you know we have many teams from third in the team championship up until seventh, which are fighting all the weekends for a very strong position. It’s just so small.
“So, I hope we can make step big enough next year to really make a step in that midfield, and be a bit more in the mix on top of it, and I think that will be the target.”
Gasly will have a new teammate for 2021 in the shape of Honda and Red Bull protege Yuki Tsunoda, who has replaced Daniil Kvyat at AlphaTauri following a stellar rookie Formula 2 season in which he clinched a top-three finish in the championship.
Asked if he expects his role within the team to change having an F1 rookie alongside him, Gasly replied: “Not so much. I know what I’ve got to do. You know, it is clear.
“I think doesn’t really matter who is alongside me in terms of my own and personal performance, I need to deliver the best of myself and the best for the team with the car I am given.
“I think this year has been great with Dany,” he added. “Over the last 18 months the way we’ve worked together, the way we have pushed each other together, the way that… He’s got a lot of experience in Formula 1 – so I think we’ve managed to push the team forward in that aspect, based on his experience and based also on mine.
“I feel that on my side, you know, I put a lot of expectations on myself. And I want to deliver at my best level all the time. This won’t change for 2021.”
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THE NEXT RACE 2021
|02:00 - 03:30||Free practice 1|
|06:00 - 07:30||Free practice 2|
|04:00 - 05:00||Free practice 3|
|07:00 - 07:18||Qualifying|
|06:10 - 08:10||Race|