Rumours have been circulating in recent weeks that Pierre Gasly will be racing for BWT Alpine F1 Team next year, after Fernando Alonso announced he would leave the team for Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team.
A 2023 move to Alpine would see the Frenchman’s Scuderia AlphaTauri deal come to an end a year early, and see him leave the Red Bull family. The door has closed on a move back to Red Bull due to Sergio Perez‘s future being confirmed until the end of 2024, and the lack of impression he left in a short spell with the team back in 2019.
Gasly has been part of the Red Bull family since 2014, he impressed in his first short spell with Scuderia Toro Rosso (known now as AlphaTauri) and earnt a call-up to Oracle Red Bull Racing in 2019, replacing Daniel Ricciardo. However, the Frenchman’s time with the team was not what he had hoped, and halfway through the season he returned to Toro Rosso and secured his first podium in Formula 1 at the 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix.
Gasly was replaced mid-season by the Austrian side for underperforming, with the pressure of driving alongside Max Verstappen seemingly having become too much for the French driver. Gasly and Alex Albon (who took Gasly’s seat at Toro Rosso), switched places.
He made his name in the 2020 season with the new rebranded AlphaTauri, putting in multiple strong performances and even his first victory at the 2020 Italian Grand Prix. His form improved further in 2021, securing yet another podium finish in a car well-off the pace of the frontrunners. Despite struggling in the 2022 season due to new aerodynamic regulations, Gasly has still out-performed team-mate Yuki Tsunoda, and the likes of Sebastian Vettel, Ricciardo and Kevin Magnussen.
He now looks set to leave the comforts of the Red Bull family, with Alpine wanting to secure his services after they saw Alonso not renew his contract and opt for a move to Aston Martin. Of course, Oscar Piastri also rejected the seat in favour of a move to the McLaren F1 Team.
The potential move looks to be positive for all parties involved, with Alpine hoping to solidify themselves as podium contenders going forward. The only question mark over the move is the Frenchman’s strained relationship with fellow countryman Esteban Ocon; however, that may not be a worry for Alpine considering the recent history with the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg’s strained relationship working throughout their time with the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team.
Should Gasly leave, then AlphaTauri will be looking for a new driver to partner Tsunoda, should the Japanese driver remain. The Faenza-based team have so far been linked with IndyCar driver Colton Herta, but issues with the FIA‘s superlicence system have taken this option off the table.
Mercedes Reserve driver and Season Seven Formula E World Champion Nyck de Vries is now the favourite for a move to AlphaTauri, following his unbelievable last-minute debut at the Italian Grand Prix, De Vries stood in for Albon at Williams Racing from Saturday morning, and went on to match the team’s best result of the season in ninth. The Dutchman has confirmed that he held talks with Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko over a potential move, which sounds likely should Gasly depart.
The deal is not yet confirmed; however, should Gasly move to Alpine then fans will be looking forward to seeing how he will cope without the backing of the Red Bull family behind him, and with a new chance to impress and improve under a new team.