Pierre Gasly’s big gamble: Staying with Alpine through crisis?

Pierre Gasly is contemplating a long-term stay with Alpine, despite the Renault-backed squad facing significant performance hurdles currently. After navigating a challenging phase marked by leadership changes and ownership disputes, Alpine has kicked off the 2024 Formula 1 season with a car that many consider being the slowest on the grid. Gasly acknowledges the uphill battle, noting, “I think we’re not looking ahead two or three weeks, but rather four or six months,” indicating a comprehensive and time-consuming recovery process is anticipated.

While Esteban Ocon, managed by Toto Wolff and currently Gasly’s teammate, is reportedly eyeing a move to Mercedes for 2025, Gasly’s gaze is also set even further into the future, focusing on the major regulatory overhaul slated for 2026. Amidst the current landscape where Renault’s power unit is deemed the least potent, Lando Norris, representing McLaren, pointed out that all teams and manufacturers are gearing their strategies towards the upcoming new power unit regulations in 2026, hinting at the potential for a significant reshuffle in the competitive order.

Speculation around Max Verstappen’s future, pondering a switch to Mercedes or Aston Martin due to uncertainties surrounding Red Bull’s powertrain strategy for 2026, underscores the period of transition and reevaluation sweeping across the sport. Gasly, with experiences from both a factory and a customer team perspective, asserts the advantages of being directly associated with a manufacturer, stating, “I know both sides, the factory team and the customer team. And of course, the ceiling is higher for the factory team,” as reported by Speed Week. He emphasizes the boundless potential of manufacturer teams, “There is no limit if you are a manufacturer. You can set your own limits and invest as much as you want.”

However, there’s an underlying concern that Alpine’s struggles and the disarray experienced in the lead-up to 2025 may extend into the 2026 season. Despite these challenges, Gasly remains optimistic about the team’s capability to navigate through these turbulent times, asserting, “It’s not that we don’t know what we’re doing or because the car concept doesn’t work, but it’s very important that we are able to find solutions and understand what’s happening.”

GMM

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