Pierre Gasly says that he and Alpine Formula 1 team-mate Esteban Ocon share the same vision for the team’s 2024 challenger, except for the size of the cockpit.
The Enstone outfit finished the 2022 campaign fourth in the Constructors’ standings but has failed to match expectations this season.
Gasly joined the outfit from AlphaTauri at the start of the season to form an all-French driver pairing. However, neither driver has been able to get a comprehensive grasp of the A523 in a turbulent season that has failed to match the lofty targets of the Alpine bosses.
“In terms of performance, it’s fair to say it doesn’t live up to the expectations going into the season,” Gasly said.
“We wanted to consolidate fourth in the teams’ championship. We haven’t been able to do it with the progress of Aston [Martin] and McLaren.”
Alpine’s season hasn’t been completely fruitless as both drivers have managed to pick up silverware. But the Anglo-French camp still looks set to finish the championship in sixth place.
“But on the other side it’s not like it’s been [a] terrible year for the team,” Gasly continued. We still managed to get a podium out of it.”
Ocon picked up the team’s first trophy of the year in Monaco with a third-place finish. Gasly then matched his compatriot’s best finish in the Spa Sprint and again in the Dutch Grand Prix.
“Two top threes with the Sprints, in contention for the podium in Monaco. Strong in Melbourne, there’s been definitely some good performance,” he contended.
“But I would say the package is too inconsistent, too track-dependent.”
Discussing his hopes for the team’s 2024 challenger, Gasly confirmed that he and Ocon agree on the direction that the team must follow. That is except for the issue of cockpit space.
Gasly is hoping for a narrower cockpit which would improve aerodynamic performance, but his calls could be limited by the stature of his team-mate. Ocon’s 1.86m frame naturally requires a larger cockpit to allow the car to be driven comfortably by its pilot.
“We’re kind of going in the same direction, apart from very long arms that he has!,” Gasly commented.
“I’m requesting a tighter cockpit for obvious gains and he’s not so keen. I don’t know how he drives but he needs slightly more space than me!” he joked while he pretended to drive a car with his elbows stuck out.
“We’ll see how that goes, but I must say that’s probably the only area where he’ll favour comfort over maybe more bias towards performance.
“Except from that, I think it’s very clear, similar direction and it’s been quite straightforward to work with him.
“I think the team will always be keen on maximising the space that you have. I’m quite happy, I’ve got lots of room, but we’ve got one tall driver with long arms and long limbs.”