2022 Austrian Grand Prix – Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri) in total descent

After two successful seasons, Pierre Gasly’s career took a bad turn this season. And it is not said that the French Grand Prix, the start of the second part of the championship this weekend in Le Castellet, will give him reasons to expect better days in the short or medium term. The present is an AlphaTauri in chronic performance deficit, on almost every circuit, and the future, the security of remaining in 2023 on the Red Bull B team, which has traveled.

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He didn’t say a word after a disappointing Austrian Grand Prix (Saturday 11 and Sunday 15, in a lap), because he contributed a lot to this team and they don’t have much left to offer him right away, apart from some illusions. . Enough to empty the bag, given the stage, run home or not.

“The whole weekend was a disaster apart from the classification. We were nowhere in terms of pacehe cursed. I tried to do everything I could in the car, but so far there is nothing to do. We can do whatever we want, any strategy, with the speed we have right now. We just can’t go on like this. “

“It’s starting to show”

“Look at Yuki, look at me: we have the same strategy and we lost a position when we went back to the garage. We don’t have the pace.added. Now we probably have the slowest car. It is a pity to see that we are fighting for the last places. We haven’t had new parts in the car in a long time and it’s starting to show. “

Pierre Gasly concluded that the operations team was “nowhere” in the Red Bull Ring, but it was not blameless. We have seen him commit mistakes that no longer resemble him. On the first brake of the sprint race, he drove to Lewis Hamilton and dropped his car on a Mercedes wheel. On Sunday, he received a five-second penalty for uselessly resisting Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin), and another five for three all-terrain players, including rookie Guanyu Zhou (Alfa Romeo), Lando Norris (McLaren) and Sebastian Vettel (Aston). Martin). ). He thus accepted the augury, with detachment. “It’s the same rule for everyone. I didn’t respect it, so I was sanctioned: it’s my fault. I saw a lot of guys receiving black and white flags.”, he admitted. Ditto for his confrontation with Sebastian Vettel: “I tried everything I could (to resist). I took the penalty, so I guess I’m the culprit.. “

In both cases, he could have denied the evidence, with a touch of bad faith, but we felt he was resigned. Lack of solutions to say it all, as for the rest. Without his team wanting to rescue him. Like in Montreal, when he had closed his last year of contract, in 2023, without worrying about whether he was putting him in a mess. At the time, McLaren Racing boss Zak Brown hinted that Daniel Ricciardo’s steering wheel could be on the market. Helmut Marko, who manages the driver contracts at Red Bull Racing, could have waited to offer the Frenchman this dream exit door. Instead, Franz Tost was delighted to repeat in Montreal: “It’s 100% confirmed, there’s nothing more to say.”

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No exit voucher

For hug therapy, we will be back. In fact, Red Bull doesn’t see any nuggets emerging at its academy other than Isaac Hadjar, and there is no need to speed up billing. The Frenchman, a brilliant newcomer to Formula 3, will only be ready to join AlphaTauri in 2024 at the earliest, according to Helmut Marko.

However, it is a paradox: the 79-year-old Austrian has never given a prospect of more than three years to prove himself in Team B, and today Pierre Gasly is not entitled to the same treatment as Carlos Sainz. Excluded by Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo at Red Bull, the Spaniard was entitled to leave Toro Rosso before the end of the season to go to Renault. There, Pierre Gasly had no right to try his luck. Red Bull just raised his salary to take the pill. Because it has to be said, it earns points convertible into hard cash.

So has all hope for Pierre Gasly at Le Castellet been lost? No, obviously. The winner of the 2020 Italian Grand Prix wants to look good in front of his audience and, by chance or mere coincidence, will shoot with a largely redesigned AlphaTauri, especially at ground level. But the characteristics of the circuit of the Var will lend themselves less to a confrontation than during the next test, to the tortuous Hungaroring. “Slow turns are our friends, fast turns our enemies”, he confided, in late June. The new configuration aims to erase the faults of the AT03. It remains to be seen if he will be able to sign better than a seventh-place finisher, his best result in his national Grand Prix last year.

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