Pierre Gasly believes his move to Alpine is a massive opportunity for his Formula 1 career.
After three successful years at AlphaTauri, Gasly moves to a factory outfit, partnering with former karting rival Esteban Ocon, creating an all-French team.
The 27-year-old is embarking on his sixth full season in F1 and Alpine is his first team outside of the Red Bull programme.
“I’m definitely very excited about this new project,” Gasly told selected media, including Total-Motorsport.com at the launch of Alpine‘s 2023 challenger in London.
“It’s a big change in my career, also in my life, and it’s definitely something I see as a massive opportunity.
“So far, from what I’ve seen from the team in Enstone and Viry, as well as working with a manufacturer, you have a potential which is unmatched compared to what I had seen before.”
Gasly delighted with shakedown and pre-season prep
Before the launch on Thursday, Alpine underwent a shakedown session at Silverstone, which doubled as a media day for the team.
Although limited by how many miles he could do in the new car, Gasly was very impressed with the A523, stating it was the best shakedown he has ever had in F1.
“I felt very comfortable in the car straight out of the box, and it’s been the best shakedown I’ve ever had, so very positive,” says Gasly.
“Since my first day in Enstone last year, I’ve done all the simulator [work], I’ve worked very closely with all the engineers I’ve met all the key people inside the team.
“I’m still meeting new faces I go at the factory. I’ve tried to do as much as possible before the season started to make sure the adaptation time is reduced.”
Unsure how long it will take to adapt to the new car
Although the positives are there, and the team have been making positive noises throughout the winter, Gasly is under no illusions that it may take some time to adapt to the new car.
But Gasly remains very confident and already feels settled at Alpine.
“If you ask me, I want to be 110% straight away from day one, but then I gotta be objective and realistic; you never really know how much time it takes”, Gasly explained.
“Sometimes it’s a race; sometimes, it’s three races; sometimes it just clicks straight away. So now I’m just very open-minded about it.
“As I say, I feel very confident, very comfortable, and the team has given me all the environment needed to feel home at home and just to feel comfortable and be at my best for the first race.”