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Gasly: Potential with Alpine "even better" than expected after first F1 test

Pierre Gasly believes that the potential Alpine has in Formula 1 is “even better” than he expected following his maiden test for the team in Abu Dhabi last week.

Pierre Gasly, Alpine A522

Pierre Gasly, Alpine A522

Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Gasly made his first appearance for Alpine during the post-season test day at the Yas Marina Circuit, giving him an introduction to the team ahead of his move from AlphaTauri for 2023.

The Frenchman spent a full day in the A522 car, marking his first run-out in F1 machinery that did not have ties to Red Bull after spending the entirety of his career to date under its umbrella.

Gasly said after the test he was “very positively surprised” and that his adaptation went “pretty well” given the change in environment.

“It was kind of surprising at the start, but we managed to get everything we wanted,” Gasly said of the test running.

“Very quickly I felt comfortable in the car, and I understand now why they finished fourth in the teams' championship. It all makes sense for me, so I'm very excited for what's coming.”

Pierre Gasly, Alpine A522

Pierre Gasly, Alpine A522

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Asked if the test confirmed his thoughts about the potential Alpine has, Gasly replied: “I think it's been even better.

“So far from what I've seen, there is massive experience in this team, from the engineers inside the engineering office but also inside the garage.

“I haven't seen everything yet, I still need to go to Enstone and see all the tools and facilities they have. But I've been very impressed with their way of approaching this first day.”

Gasly was also impressed by the welcome he received from Alpine, particularly given how close the test was to the find of the season.

“It's never easy when you've got someone new coming in,” he said. “We were still racing [against each other] two days ago with our respective teams and drivers so it goes pretty quick.

“But they've been very welcoming in the best possible way, and so far [there are] only positive signs.

“So it's really promising for the future.”

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Gasly will get only one-and-a-half days in pre-season testing to adjust to its 2023 car ahead of the opening race in Bahrain as he splits duties with new team-mate Esteban Ocon, making the Abu Dhabi running a useful way to get a first read of its processes.

The Frenchman is set to formally link up with his new team in January once his final duties for AlphaTauri are complete, which included a recent appearance at the Honda Thanks Day in Japan.

“I'm in the transition phase,” Gasly said.

“Obviously sporting-wise, I'm fully focused for next year with Alpine. I still have a couple of commitments to do with AlphaTauri but yeah, I'll start working with the guys for next season.”

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