RACE DEBRIEF

    Red Bull-contracted drivers Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda will continue to form sister squad AlphaTauri’s driver line-up into 2022, the Faenza-based team announced in the lead up to the Italian Grand Prix.

    Gasly has been a rock for AlphaTauri this season, scoring the bulk of the team’s points to keep them in the hunt for a coveted fifth place in the constructors’ championship, while Tsunoda has shown flashes of speed in his rookie F1 campaign – and the duo have a great working relationship.

    When Sergio Perez signed a contract extension for next year, it closed the door on a possible return to Red Bull’s main team for Gasly, and that paved the way for his retention at AlphaTauri.

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    “Pierre’s development in the years has been impressive and in his time with us he managed to make it to all three steps of the podium,” said AlphaTauri boss Franz Tost. “I am confident there’s more to come and this is why we are excited to have him with us for another season.

    “Furthermore, he is using his experience in F1 to help Yuki with his development. This year we have seen that the positive relationship between the two, made of a competitiveness on-track and a friendship off-track, has proven effective for the team.”

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    Gasly sits eighth in the drivers' championship, having scored points 10 times in 13 races this season

    Gasly, who is eighth in the drivers’ championship, added: “I am very happy to be moving forward with Scuderia AlphaTauri for another season in Formula 1, especially after seeing the progress that we’ve made as a team since I first joined in 2017.

    “Seeing the performance we’ve shown so far this season, I think there are great things to achieve for the rest of this season and for next year, especially with the upcoming changes to the championship in 2022.

    “I’m very excited to see what we can accomplish in the new era of F1 and to keep working with the team as best as I can to bring us forward in the team standings. This year has been very successful so far and I really believe we can work well together to do even better in 2022.”

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    Tsunoda became the first Japanese driver to score points on his F1 debut

    Tsunoda became the first Japanese driver to score points in their debut F1 race and has continued what has been a steep learning curve. Red Bull retain faith in the Honda-backed driver and have thus rewarded him with a second campaign.

    “Yuki has joined the team as a rookie and is continuing to learn every day, the feedback from the engineers shows that he is absorbing all the information given to him and improving,” said Tost. “As a rookie, Yuki is only at the beginning of this journey, so it’s good that he can continue what we’ve started together. It’s great for us to be securing our driver line-up so early in the season, so we can now focus on the rest of 2021, where we’re in a tough fight in the midfield pack.”

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    Tsunoda, who has scored points five times this year, added: “I’m really excited to be staying with Scuderia AlphaTauri for a second season. It’s an incredible opportunity and I’m so thankful to the team for letting me continue to grow my experience in Formula 1 with them.

    “I have a very good relationship with Pierre, I have learnt a lot from him already this year and his experience has helped me to keep developing my own skills, so it’s great to be continuing my F1 journey with him. Having recently moved out to Faenza I am feeling very settled within the team and am looking forward to the upcoming season.”