Formula 1

“On paper Silverstone will be tricky for us” – Pierre Gasly

4 Mins read
Credit: Peter Fox/ Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Pierre Gasly heads into this weekend’s British Grand Prix in high spirits, having signed a one-year contract extension with Scuderia AlphaTauri. The deal means that the French driver no longer has to worry about where he’ll be in 2023, taking an enormous weight off of the AlphaTauri driver’s shoulders.

The early announcement means that Gasly and the team can look forward to the rest of this season, as well as next year, something he explained ahead of the weekend.

“I’m looking forward to this weekend at Silverstone for many reasons, including the fact I know I can now look ahead to a further 18 months with this team. I’m pleased it’s been confirmed early, so we now have time to plan a strategy of how to build and develop next year’s car. We already know we can perform well together, so I am convinced that if we work well over the rest of this season and develop well, there is no reason why we can’t have an excellent 2023 season.
 
“For me personally, my goal is to help this team get to the top. Compared to when I first came here in 2017, we now have a lot more experience of working together, we all know and understand one another very well across the team, both in Faenza and Bicester.

“We work efficiently together, based on our past history and many seasons racing together. I have big ambitions for myself, and I always give my maximum to get the best results for the team. I will continue to push to get the best ever season this team has had next year.”
 
Looking ahead to the weekend at the Silverstone International Circuit, Gasly is expecting anything but a “straightforward” weekend. The French driver is expecting the team to suffer at Silverstone due to their aero problems, however, Gasly is aware that the issues will hopefully soon be solved with upgrades to come.

“As for Silverstone this weekend, it’s a circuit I appreciate a lot, it’s very fast and you get an incredible feeling from the car in some sections, particularly Maggotts and Becketts. But we will have to see how we get on, because being honest when assessing our car, we know we lack a bit of aero and we can expect to have to deal with a weekend that might not be straightforward for us.

“We will still be doing everything we can to get the most out of the package we have right now, while waiting for some upgrades that will be arriving soon. For now, we must be ready to seize whatever opportunities come our way, even if on paper, Silverstone will be tricky for us. It’s a home race for Red Bull Racing and, in a way, also for us as our aero department and wind tunnel are based not far from the track. The atmosphere is quite special here and I’m looking forward to an interesting weekend.”

“The new cars will be a bit slower than last year” – Yuki Tsunoda

On the other side of the AlphaTauri garage, Yuki Tsunoda is hoping for a strong weekend, after an embarrassing retirement at the Canadian Grand Prix. Tsunoda managed to crash on pit-exit due to cold tyres, something he’s considering as “another learning experience”.

“Looking back at the last round, I enjoyed my first visit to Canada, I liked what I saw of the country and the city of Montreal. However, on the track we had another quite difficult weekend. The pace was there, and I was quite happy with my performance, which I felt was better than the previous Grand Prix in Azerbaijan, but of course I had to take an engine penalty.

“So, I knew from the offset it was going to be a difficult race, but it was going well until unfortunately it ended in the barrier, which I’m very disappointed about, but it is what it is and I just have to consider it as another learning experience. In addition, I now know the Montreal track, which I had never driven before.”

This weekend will hopefully be a much more successful one for the young Japanese driver, who has scored plenty of points at the venue in recent years. As well as in Formula 1, Tsunoda has scored points at Silverstone in Formula 2 and Formula 3.

Tsunoda fondly remembers the incredible atmosphere generated by the British crowd, something which he’s excited to see yet again this weekend. He’s hoping that overtaking will be possible, after it was difficult to do so last season. Like his team-mate though, Tsunoda is expecting a tough weekend, based on their current package.

“I know Silverstone well, as I first raced here in 2019 in Formula 3, finishing in the points in one race. The next year, we had four races in Formula 2 over two weekends and I came third in the first Feature Race and won the second Sprint Race. Then last year I scored a point for tenth place, and I remember there was such a great atmosphere as there was a really big crowd. I feel this is a track where I can do well.
 
“I’m looking forward to driving this high-speed, old-school track in these new cars. In terms of speed, the new cars will be a bit slower than last year but will produce similar lap times to what we saw in the past. Based on what we saw in Azerbaijan, it might be a little bit easier to overtake at Silverstone this year than in the past. Our aim as usual is to try and make it to Q3 on Saturday and score points, I think it could be a difficult race for our current package but if we have a smooth time in free practice that will help.”

Credit: Clive Rose/ Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool
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