Alpine confirms Gasly as Alonso’s F1 replacement for 2023

The Alpine Formula 1 team has finally confirmed that Pierre Gasly is joining its line-up on a multi-year contract in 2023 to race alongside Esteban Ocon.

Alpine confirms Gasly as Alonso’s F1 replacement for 2023

The pair will form the first full-time all-French line-up at a Renault-owned team since Alain Prost and Rene Arnoux were partners at the original works outfit in 1982.

“I am delighted to join the Alpine family and begin this new chapter in my F1 career,” said Gasly. “Driving for a team that has French roots is something very special.

“I know the strengths of Alpine having raced against them over the past couple of years and, clearly, their progress and ambition is very impressive.”

Gasly and Ocon will be together for at least two years, since Ocon is contracted until 2024. Both men have already scored their first wins, with Gasly triumphing for AlphaTauri at Monza in 2020, and Ocon in Budapest the following year.

Alpine began its search for a driver after Fernando Alonso’s shock move to Aston Martin was announced on the day after the Hungarian GP, and it quickly became clear that reserve driver and potential replacement Oscar Piastri was committed to McLaren.

Gasly’s emergence as a serious candidate, despite his ongoing Red Bull contract, was first revealed by Autosport on the weekend of the Belgian GP.

The suggestion was met with some scepticism in the paddock, not least because former childhood friends Ocon and Gasly are widely known to have had some personal issues over the years.

However, that challenge was quickly dismissed by Renault and Alpine’s top management, who instead had to focus their efforts on getting Gasly out of his AlphaTauri deal.

Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri AT03, Fernando Alonso, Alpine A522, Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT03

Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri AT03, Fernando Alonso, Alpine A522, Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT03

Photo by: Carl Bingham / Motorsport Images

Initially parent team Red Bull was only interested in releasing him if IndyCar star Colton Herta could get a superlicence and thus be able to take the AlphaTauri seat. When that possibility receded, Nyck de Vries emerged as the alternative candidate for the Faenza team.

Both deals have been in place for some weeks, but it has taken time for all the legal and contractual details to be addressed, so that the moves could be announced together over the Japanese GP weekend. Gasly will cut his ties after with Red Bull after nine years with the drinks company.

He made his debut with the then Scuderia Toro Rosso team at the 2017 Malaysian GP and spent half a season with Red Bull Racing in 2019, before being relegated to the junior team after disappointing results alongside Max Verstappen.

It was clear within the camp that Gasly would never get a second shot at an RBR seat and, given that AlphaTauri’s role is to direct young talent to the senior outfit, a divorce was a logical move for both parties.

“I wish to thank Red Bull as this marks the end of our nine-year journey together,” Gasly added. “It is thanks to their trust and support that I became a Formula 1 driver, and what we’ve achieved with Scuderia AlphaTauri over the last years has been very special.

"Looking ahead, I want to give the maximum and utilise all my experience to fight for podiums and ultimately contribute to Alpine’s fight for championships in the future.”

Read Also:

Renault Group CEO Luca de Meo, who was closely involved in the decision to take Gasly and is present in Suzuka this weekend, made it clear that the move towards a patriotic line-up with two drivers from the same region as the main Alpine company was not pursued by chance.

“We are proud to present an all-French driver line up from 2023," said De Meo. "Our roots are in France, and Alpine was born in Normandy, so this is a serendipity of sorts.

“Both will drive the team and the group forward and, I hope, we can become a symbol of pride for France.”

The final confirmation of Gasly is a huge relief for Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer and Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi, given the team has faced some criticism for losing Alonso and Piastri. Both men see Gasly as a key part of the team’s future.

“He is already a proven talent within F1, and we are looking forward to harnessing that within the team,” said Szafnauer. “Our team has several objectives for the coming seasons and I firmly believe our driver line-up is a great reflection of the team’s high ambitions.

“I trust Pierre and Esteban can, together, motivate the team to continue its progress towards these goals. We would also like to thank Red Bull for agreeing the terms to allow Pierre to take this step.”

Rossi added: “He is a talented and motivated driver who will contribute positively to our objectives in F1. Pierre is completely aligned with the ambition and progression that has, to date, been a hallmark of the Alpine project.

“As a young, but highly experienced and successful driver, his trajectory is on course with our own, and we look forward to growing together.”

shares
comments
Perez: Latin drivers face more criticism in Formula 1
Previous article

Perez: Latin drivers face more criticism in Formula 1

Next article

De Vries lands full-time F1 drive with AlphaTauri for 2023

De Vries lands full-time F1 drive with AlphaTauri for 2023
How the last Sauber-built Alfa offers F1 2023 evolution clues Plus

How the last Sauber-built Alfa offers F1 2023 evolution clues

Alfa Romeo has become the first Formula 1 team to reveal a new car for 2023, in addition to a fresh livery. This offered a first look at some of the understated changes produced by the revised regulations, along with points of convergence in the second year of the ground effect rules

The pioneering F1 car that preceded Lotus’s terminal decline Plus

The pioneering F1 car that preceded Lotus’s terminal decline

In the hands of Ayrton Senna the actively suspended 99T would be the last F1 race-winning Lotus but, as STUART CODLING reveals, it was a complicated machine that caused more problems than it solved

Formula 1
Feb 5, 2023
How Tyrrell became a racing Rubik’s cube as it faded out of F1 Plus

How Tyrrell became a racing Rubik’s cube as it faded out of F1

Formula 1’s transformation into a global sport meant the gradual extinction for a small team determined to stay true to its low-budget roots. But Tyrrell would eventually be reborn as a world-beating outfit again, explains MAURICE HAMILTON, albeit in different colours…

Formula 1
Feb 4, 2023
Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver Plus

Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

Many doubted Lewis Hamilton’s move from McLaren to Mercedes for the 2013 Formula 1 season. But the journey he’s been on since has taken the Briton to new heights - and to a further six world championship titles

Formula 1
Feb 2, 2023
Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era Plus

Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era

OPINION: With teams outside the top three having struggled in Formula 1 in recent seasons, the rules changes introduced in 2022 should have more of an impact this season. How well Haas does, as the poster child for the kind of team that F1 wanted to be able to challenge at the front, is crucial

Formula 1
Feb 2, 2023
The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff Plus

The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

OPINION: Although the central building blocks for Mercedes’ recent, long-lasting Formula 1 success were installed before he joined the team, Toto Wolff has been instrumental in ensuring it maximised its finally-realised potential after years of underachievement. The 10-year anniversary of Wolff joining Mercedes marks the perfect time to assess his work

Formula 1
Feb 1, 2023
The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate Plus

The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

Alpine’s signing of Pierre Gasly alongside Esteban Ocon revives memories of a famous all-French line-up, albeit in the red of Ferrari, for BEN EDWARDS. Can the former AlphaTauri man's arrival help the French team on its path back to winning ways in a tribute act to the Prancing Horse's title-winning 1983?

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023
How do the best races of F1 2022 stack up to 2021? Plus

How do the best races of F1 2022 stack up to 2021?

OPINION: A system to score all the grands prix from the past two seasons produces some interesting results and sets a standard that 2023 should surely exceed

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023