Alpine F1 today confirmed Pierre Gasly as a driver from 2023.
Otmar Szafnauer also revealed this morning that the squad had thought of the Frenchman from week one when a backup plan had to be found following the departures of Fernando Alonso and Oscar Piastri.
A little over a week ago, however, a test took place at the Hungaroring with Jack Doohan, Antonio Giovinazzi and Nyck de Vries. What was the purpose of this exercise? Obviously you won’t find yourself in the water again with your beak like you did in August!
“Well, you know, these F1 tests are scheduled long before the test actually takes place and it wasn’t quite clear about Pierre, although, as I said, he was on our shortlist. He was still under a Red Bull contract. , not released yet. And you know, Franz Tost wouldn’t let him go! I had to call Helmut Marko.”
“So we drove these three drivers in Budapest to assess their abilities, and they all did a great job. And we certainly learned things. Nyck did a great job. Very professional. He deserves a place in Formula 1, he was immediately fast and gave very good feedback, so congratulations to Nyck and AlphaTauri.”
Has Alpine F1 seriously thought about Daniel Ricardo? Were there conversations?
“At the beginning we spoke to a few drivers, including Daniel. But Pierre met the criteria for experience, speed and youth perfectly. So when it became clear that Pierre was a possibility, we narrowed our shortlist even further. And we didn’t go. on with Daniel as with many others elsewhere.”
What future for Jack Doohan in Alpine F1?
This agreement with Pierre Gasly is necessarily bad news for Jack Doohan. The two buckets seem to have been locked for years…
“First of all, it’s great for us to move forward. It’s for next year. So we still have this year to focus on, what to do. We have to do a good job. But it’s good to know that next year has been arranged.”
“As for Jack, we haven’t quite decided yet, but letting him drive Free 1 before the end of the year is part of our program. Maybe also with Oscar Piastri, depending on the discussions we have with McLaren.”
“Jack is close to the F1 team and there is a future for Jack with us. Now that we have secured both drivers for next year and the year after, we are going to think more seriously about our young driver program and what we can do there. But you know, Jack’s immediate goal should be to win the F2 championship next year and we will support him through this process, we will also give him time in F1 to prepare.”
This therefore seems to rule out Doohan being loaned to Williams F1 before 2023.