Pierre Gasly frequently labelled his 2019 campaign as a rollercoaster – comparing it to a film script – and he has described the new season as a “white sheet” with AlphaTauri.
stepped up to the front-running Red Bull Racing team last year but struggled
for performance and results, and mid-season returned to Toro Rosso, for whom he
raced across the end of 2017 and 2018.
Gasly emerged as one of the standout midfield drivers through the second part of the campaign and captured a shock runner-up position in Brazil, standing on the podium for the first time.
Gasly’s strong form assisted Toro Rosso in finishing sixth in the Constructors’ Championship – equaling its highest result – as it classified just six points behind manufacturer team Renault.
Frenchman, 24, has remained with the squad this year as it morphs into AlphaTauri,
rebranded to reflect Red Bull’s expanding fashion corporation.
“It was clearly very important [to have a winter reset] because last year I went through all sorts of emotion,” Gasly told MotorsportWeek.com.
“It was clearly the most intense [season] and one of the years where I’ve learned the most about myself personally, also as an athlete, and I also just needed some time with the family, the people that know me.
needed to recharge and come back with a white sheet for 2020 and just be fully
focused on the job. “
“It’s a completely new year, a new chapter with
AlphaTauri. There are a lot of things to take from last year, positives and
“I’ve reviewed everything over the winter, through December and I’ve started the 1st of January fresh, so it’s only positives with me.
“I’m ready to build on the strong end of the
year with Toro Rosso and then yeah, it’s a new start with AlphaTauri.”
Gasly has remained tight-lipped on the precise reasons
for his early 2019 struggles but vowed that the lessons of 12 months ago will
facilitate greater displays through 2020.
“What I think is I’m even more specific on what
I need, personally rather than doing something a bit more general,” he said on
preparation for the upcoming campaign, which begins with testing at the Circuit
de Barcelona-Catalunya, Spain on Wednesday.
“I know the areas I need to work on. I’ve only
been in F1 for two years so this year I’ll have double the experience I had at
the same time last year. I do feel it, I do feel I understand a bit more what I
need personally as a driver from the team, from my engineers and the areas I
need to work on. We need to focus a bit more on the details.”
But what can Gasly, and the rebranded AlphaTauri
team, achieved in the coming 22 (or 21, depending on the situation in China)
“You always want to do better than the past year,” he said. “Last year Toro Rosso had a really strong year, it was their best with two podiums and 80…I don’t remember exactly how many points, but quite a lot! We will try to do better this year but it’s too early to say if it’s achievable or not.”