Alpha Tauri’s Pierre Gasly says he feels better able to handle the pressures on him for 2020 after a tough year in 2019.
Pierre Gasly says he’s optimistic of a stronger 2020 season after coming through a very difficult season last year. Starting off the year as a race driver with Red Bull Racing, the French driver struggled for form and pace alongside Max Verstappen and rumours about his seat being under threat quickly surfaced.
Despite assurances from Red Bull senior management that his seat was safe, Gasly was demoted to Toro Rosso over the summer break and replaced by Alex Albon who had been in the Toro Rosso.
Gasly’s personal life was also rocked as his close personal friend, Formula 2 racer Anthoine Hubert, was killed in a crash over the Belgian Grand Prix weekend.
Coming through all that, Gasly’s year turned around as he found form at Toro Rosso with a headline-grabbing drive in Brazil netting him a podium finish as he outdragged Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton to the chequered flag.
Speaking at the launch event for the team over the weekend where they rebranded from Toro Rosso to Alpha Tauri, Gasly says he feels he learned a lot from his tough 2019: “2019 was an interesting year as a lot of things happened, both on a professional and personal level. I feel like I grew and learned a lot, so to get that second place in Brazil, Toro Rosso’s second best result ever over 14 years in F1, really rounded the season off in the best possible way. I was very happy with the way we worked and the way things went and now, I’m more than excited about this new season, which I’d like to start in the same way in which we finished 2019.”
Speaking about carrying momentum into the new year, Gasly said: “We are all on the right path for 2020 but we need to wait and see how pre-season testing goes. Having said that, last year’s performance owed a lot to how we worked and so I believe we can continue in this dynamic way.”
Now entering his third year in Formula 1, Gasly says his ever-increasing experience means he feels much more able to handle what’s expected of him in the year ahead: “There is always something to learn. This will only be my third season in Formula 1. I feel better prepared than last year, as I have a bit more experience.”
“Towards the end of the year, together with the people in the team, we really discovered how to understand what we needed from each other and how to get the most out of our package. We must continue to push and it will be important to perform consistently, scoring points throughout the season. We have to seize every opportunity, just as we did last year.”