Pierre Gasly reckons his 2021 season was his most consistent of his Formula 1 career to date, with the Frenchman ending the year ninth in the Drivers’ Championship standings.
Gasly broke through the one-hundred-point mark for the first time, with the Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda driver scoring one hundred and ten points, with his best result coming in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix when he finished third behind Sergio Pérez and Sebastian Vettel.
The Frenchman believes AlphaTauri often had a car that was better in Qualifying than in the race, with Gasly securing his first front row start in the Qatar Grand Prix, but he still managed to place inside the top six on nine occasions on race days.
“I think the balance between quali and race, you can’t adjust the car, it’s a fine line,” Gasly is quoted as saying by Motorsport Week.
“I think our car was generally strong in quali more than the race, and finding in terms of set-up and potential to extract the maximum, I feel I’ve made a step, you get more confident, this year was probably my most consistent year.
“You always make mistakes but you try and reduce them and maximise the opportunities you have, so I feel this year I made a step.”
Gasly says remaining at AlphaTauri and playing the role of team leader to rookie Yuki Tsunoda saw him more involved with the development and set-up of the car in 2021, and he felt he learned a lot at a technical level as a result.
“For me the key point this year was really carrying for another [full] year with a team, which was the first time it happened for me in Formula 1,” Gasly added.
“So we had a lot better understanding of what we need from each other with the group of engineers, and also having a bit more impact with what I need from the car – obviously with Yuki [Tsunoda] coming as a rookie, there was a bit more responsibility on the direction we take.
“I feel I’ve learned a lot technically, being more involved.”