Pierre Gasly admits he is still not fully comfortable inside the cockpit of Alpine’s 2023 Formula 1 car.
The Frenchman moved to Alpine from AlphaTauri over the winter to fill the spot vacated by the outgoing Fernando Alonso and scheduled replacement Oscar Piastri.
While Alpine were aiming to consolidate the fourth place finish it achieved last year, the Anglo-French outfit has slumped to sixth in the Constructors’ Championship after being out developed by Aston Martin and McLaren.
And despite achieving his first top-three finish for Alpine in the Belgian Grand Prix Sprint Race, Gasly concedes that he is still unable to extract “101%” from the A523.
When asked if he’s got on top of the car more following the conclusion of the final race before the summer break, Gasly said: “Hmm…yes a little bit but there’s still quite a few things still missing to really suit my driving and stuff that I need to rely on and that I really want to get from the car to naturally be at 101% every single lap.
“At the moment there are certain things I want to do with the car that I can’t really get out of it. Always stuff that we work on but ultimately this year’s car is what it is. “Mainly in terms of feedback, inputs are important for next year’s car which I will have more input on.”
Expanding on the difficulties he’s endured since switching to a new team, Gasly claims he enjoyed a better balance with Alpine’s 2023 charger earlier in the year.
Aside from the Enstone side lacking performance, the one-time F1 race winner also contends that its car has a narrower operating window than its rivals.
“I think it’s consistently trying to chase a bit of balance that I like from it,” he added.
“If anything it felt slightly better balanced at the start of the year compared to in the recent events, we need to figure out whether it’s upgrade-related or tyres or track etc.
“But there is some work to do, obviously the overall potential is not quite there compared to our competitors but it seems also quite…a small window to make it operate at its best.
“It’s not easy but F1 isn’t easy and it’s good we have a couple of weeks to review the start of the year. I’m sure we’ll come back stronger for the rest of the year.”
After a pointless Sunday at Spa-Francorchamps, Gasly rounds out the first half of the season in 12th place in the Drivers’ standings on 22 points, 13 points behind team-mate Esteban Ocon.
The efforts of Alpine’s all-French driver pairing has the team sat a lonely sixth in the Constructors’ Championship, 46 points behind McLaren one position above.