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Pierre Gasly: Knowing that the start of the season will be difficult for Alpine

Pierre Gasly explains: What Alpine can expect from the 2024 Formula 1 season opener and what is different for the French works team this year

At the 2024 Formula 1 winter tests in Bahrain, Alpine didn’t particularly stand out, neither with fast laps nor with many technical problems. So where does the French works team stand a week before the start of the racing season?

Alpine driver Pierre Gasly answers this question as follows: “We know that the start of the season will not be easy for us. We know that the next few weeks at the beginning of the year will be extremely important in order to develop and perform better.” And that doesn’t sound very optimistic for the first race weekend in Bahrain.

What makes Gasly so cautious is the new technical focus at Alpine. He himself refers to the A524 as a “completely new vehicle concept” compared to last year’s A523 car and says: “In principle, we started with a blank sheet of paper. Basically, we only kept the steering wheel.”

As a result, there is “a lot to learn and discover” beyond the test drives, says Gasly. However, he resolutely defends his team’s course: “As far as the car, its development and its potential are concerned, we reached a kind of plateau last year. So it was time for us to take a risk and try to close the gap to the cars in front of us. “

Alpine conclusion only possible after a few race weekends?

The test results so far, however, do not suggest any success here. But that doesn’t necessarily mean anything yet, says Gasly: “We’ll only find out in the next few weeks whether it was the right decision. “

At least: The test drives in Bahrain went “smoothly” from his team’s perspective. “There were no reliability issues, and that’s always good and important with a new car,” explains Gasly. “But yes, we are aware of the challenge ahead of us.”

He himself has emerged from the winter break stronger and feels “fantastic, mentally good and very well integrated into the team”, emphasizes Gasly. “Compared to a year ago, I now know everyone in the team and all the processes. I therefore feel really comfortable and believe that we are well positioned operationally. Now it’s just a matter of further developing the car we have. “

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