Pierre Gasly praying for end to Alpine nightmare: Miracles do happen

Alpine have had a torrid start to the 2024 F1 season after struggles in both Bahrain and Saudi Arabia with no points and early qualifying exits

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Pierre Gasly has admitted Alpine‘s torrid start to the 2024 Formula 1 season has left him praying for a “miracle”, but the Frenchman insists he is not ready to give up on their season just yet.

The Enstone team have endured a nightmare in their opening two races of the campaign, which has seen them collect zero points and fail to make it out of Q1 in both qualifying sessions so far in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

Esteban Ocon showed there is some light at the end of the tunnel by finishing 13th in Jeddah, although the retirements of Gasly and Lance Stroll naturally propelled the French outfit higher than they potentially would have been on pure pace.

Gasly has done little to hide his frustration with their slow pace, demanding in Saudi Arabia that the team find solutions to deliver more performance in Melbourne.

But the 27-year-old is staying optimistic about their chances of recovering once they introduce some upgrades – and even refused to rule out an unlikely podium in the future when asked about their chances.

Esteban Ocon leads Alpine teammate Pierre Gasly in qualifying ahead of the 2024 Bahrain GP | Alpine F1 Team
Esteban Ocon leads Alpine teammate Pierre Gasly in qualifying ahead of the 2024 Bahrain GP | Alpine F1 Team

“You guys are annoying, because I already know the headline if I answer that question!” Gasly told the press, when asked if a podium was possible this season. “But as a competitive sport, I have 24 races, six sprint races… everything is possible in Formula 1.

“So we will have our chances, whether it is the top 10 and top five or a podium, I don’t know what it will it be, but one thing’s for sure is that I’ll fight every single time trying to get the best out of every single opportunities.

“We’ve seen it in the past, and I’ve made it happen a couple of times, that miracles do happen sometimes in Formula One. That’s why we love the sport and sometimes it’s unpredictable. And in these types of moments, I’ve always showed up and I’ll keep trying as hard as I can, and even in the season which might be tough.”

An example to follow

Alpine’s rivalry with McLaren over the past five years has intensified as they have jostled for fourth and fifth in the constructors’ championship on several occasions, although it is clear the Papaya are a fair distance clear in terms of pace, with Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri combining for 14 points in Jeddah.

It was just over a year ago, however, that McLaren finished 15th and 17th in Saudi Arabia respectively before introducing major upgrades midway through the season which enabled them to compete with Max Verstappen for race wins by the end of the season. And Gasly is confident Alpine can use their example to pull off a similar turnaround.

“I still see the time for us to react as a team, and someone sent me again two days ago that last year, McLaren was lost in the team championship, and they’ve been able to turn things around,” Gasly added. “So it’s always possible to have a strong environment and that’s what we need to aim for.”

Under-fire boss Bruno Famin, who has come under pressure after struggling to reproduce results from his sacked predecessor Otmar Szafnauer, has already rung the changes by bringing in three new faces to try and halt their slide to the back of the grid.

Two senior members of their technical team – technical director Matt Harman and aerodynamics head Dirk de Beer – left the team at the start of March, with Famin restructuring their management team with a trio of new appointments. But it remains to be seen just how long Alpine have to wait before they will see improvements, with more struggles potentially ahead in Melbourne.

Joe Krishnan
Joe Krishnan
Joe Krishnan is an NCTJ-qualified journalist who has worked for a number of media organisations, including the Daily Express, The Mirror, Evening Standard, The Independent and Bleacher Report. Joe has been following F1 since when he watched Mika Hakkinen clinch the 1999 drivers' championship, and his first taste of real-life racing action was watching David Coulthard spin off into the gravel at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in 2001.
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