RACE DEBRIEF

    Pierre Gasly’s time at AlphaTauri has come to an end with the French driver set to don the Alpine colours in 2023 – but the Frenchman says he'll miss his now former team mate Yuki Tsunoda and his “no filter” approach.

    The pair have been team mates for two seasons and have formed a close relationship in their time working together. And as he gets set to join Alpine, Gasly revealed what he will miss the most about working with Tsunoda, who he calls a “very unique character”.

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    “He doesn’t live that far from my house in Milan so I am sure we will get some more time in the off season to catch up,” said Gasly. “But there is no bull**** with Yuki and that is one thing I will really appreciate. Everything which goes through his mind is out of his mouth in a flash of light.

    “He’s a very unique character, got a great sense of humour, no filter, which can be quite surprising at times, but he is a great human being. Really enjoyed these last two years seeing him evolve within the team.

    "Also as a person I think he has developed quite a lot – definitely someone I appreciate, and I’ll happily call as a friend now.”

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    Gasly says Tsunoda improved massively in 2022 and expects him to do the same next season

    Asked if Tsunoda has what it takes to lead AlphaTauri, Gasly said: “Only time will tell whether he has got what it takes to lead the team. His path to Formula 1 was kind of fast forwarded. He went Formula 4, Formula 3, F2, straight to F1 at quite a young age, not so much experience.

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    “I think only time will tell but for sure he has improved massively this year. Would not be surprised to see him improving again next season. I think he knows what he needs to work on: a bit of self-control. But he knows that, and he has got good people around him and this environment is also good for him to really develop as a better driver.”

    Gasly finished his final race with AlphaTauri in 14th at the Abu Dhabi GP and while he admits he and the team had a “difficult” season – as they finished ninth in the constructors’ championship – he was full of praise for the Italian outfit after their "amazing" time together, which stretches back to 2017, either side of a short spell with Red Bull.

    ‘I’m a better driver thanks to them’ – Pierre Gasly bids farewell to AlphaTauri

    “Yeah, we tried. But tonight, I don’t have much to say. It reflects our season which was difficult,” said Gasly when asked to reflect on his race. “But I know we never stopped fighting until the end, and until these last few laps. At the end of the day, I will more remember these past five years from my first race in Malaysia back in 2017 till now.

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    “I know a lot has changed on my side, on the team side, they’ve been doing a very strong job over the last few years, and I think the way they’ve developed has been really impressive and I’ve really enjoyed the journey. That is what I will remember.”

    He continued: “I can clearly say that now I am a better driver thanks to them, and I think we have had an amazing time together, so definitely going to feel strange not to see these similar faces next year but then I will keep with me close to my heart all these people and carry with me all these amazing memories.”