AlphaTauri confirmed, this Tuesday morning (7), the renewal of the contract and the consequent stay of Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda for the 2022 season of Formula 1. The move, in view of recent statements by Red Bull consultant — owner from AlphaTauri —, Helmut Marko, is not surprising, especially after the announcement of the maintenance of the Red Bull duo with Sergio Pérez alongside Max Verstappen. Thus, there are five vacancies to be defined for 2022, and it is expected, still for this Tuesday, the confirmation of George Russell’s departure for Mercedes.
Gasly is one of the big names of the 2021 season and is again doing a great championship. AlphaTauri leader, the surprising winner of last year’s Italian GP manages to place himself frequently in Q3 and when he can, he goes far. Pierre has already been on the podium this year with third place in the Azerbaijani GP and got his second best result last Sunday by starting and finishing the Dutch GP in fourth place. Gasly ranks eighth on the World Drivers’ table after the weekend in Zandvoort.
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Protected from Honda, Tsunoda arrived in Formula 1 as a sensation after a campaign marked by victories in just one season in Formula 2 and landed as the first driver in the category to be born in the 2000s. place in the Bahrain GP. His debut year has been more of lows than highs, but the Japanese experienced good moments such as winning seventh place in the Azerbaijani GP and sixth in the Hungarian GP, his best result so far.
Well positioned in the Constructors’ World Championship, AlphaTauri appears in sixth place and has 84 points, against 90 of the fifth place, Alpine. Red Bull’s B-Team has scored in all 13 races of the season so far, as has the matrix of the energy drink brand.
In the statement issued this morning, AlphaTauri emphasizes that “consistency and stability are crucial for the new era of Formula 1”, which will experience a revolution in rules and will also have a new generation of cars ahead.
“The team believes that the current duo will be able to give good results, working well together as early as 2021. Pierre has shown a very strong performance by assuming the role of team leader this season, already achieving a podium and remaining in the top-10 of the Drivers’ Championship. Meanwhile, Yuki became the first Japanese to score points in his debut Formula 1 race and is following a learning curve during his debut season,” says the team’s statement.
Gasly never hid his desire to return to Red Bull after a difficult first stint that lasted only 12 GPs in the first half of 2019. Relegated in the middle of that season, the Frenchman has since grown a lot and, even in the middle pack, has consolidated as one of the leading Formula 1 drivers today. On the Dutch GP weekend, Pierre was still unhappy with Red Bull’s decision to have renewed with ‘Checo’ Pérez, a scenario that kept him for another year at AlphaTauri.
Gasly’s speech regarding the announcement of the Italian team, however, was in a more protocol tone. “I’m very happy to move forward with AlphaTauri for another season in Formula 1, especially after seeing the progress we’ve made as a team since I first joined in 2017. Seeing the performance we’ve shown so far this season, I think there are big things for us to achieve in the rest of the year and next too, especially with the changes to the championship in 2022,” said the owner of the #10 car.
“I’m very excited to see what we can accomplish in the new era of Formula 1 and to continue working with the team in the best possible way to take us forward in the Constructors’ World Championship. This year has been very successful so far and I really believe that we can work well to do an even better job in 2022”, added the 25-year-old.
In turn, Tsunoda thanked him for the chance to stay on the team and for the credit he was given in the wake of a debut year marked by fluctuations and learning.
“I’m very excited to go with AlphaTauri for a second season. It is an incredible opportunity and I am very grateful to the team and Dr. [Helmut] Marko for letting me continue to build on my Formula 1 experience. I have a very good relationship with Pierre, I’ve learned a lot from him already this year, and his experience has helped me to continue developing my talent, so it’s great to follow my journey in Formula 1 with him”.
Yuki also highlighted the change of life this year. At the request of the team itself, Tsunoda moved to Italy and lives in Faenza, very close to AlphaTauri’s headquarters. “I’m feeling very good within the team and I’m looking forward to the next season”, he concluded.
Franz Tost, who since the beginning of AlphaTauri’s history, still as Toro Rosso, has held the role of team leader, celebrated the permanence of his drivers and highlighted Gasly’s heyday and also Tsunoda’s learning curve this season.
“I am pleased to announce today that we will keep our two drivers here at AlphaTauri for the 2022 season. Pierre’s development over the years has been impressive and, in his time here with us, he managed to make all three steps of the podium. Starting with second place in Brazil in 2019, he won our GP at home the following year in Monza, and this year he has already achieved a podium with third place in Baku. I’m confident there’s more to come and that’s why we’re excited to have him with us for another season,” said the Austrian.
“Besides, he [Gasly] is using his F1 experience to help Yuki in her development. This year we saw that the positive relationship between the two, made up of competitiveness on the track and friendship off track, proved to be effective for the team. Yuki joined the team as a newcomer and continues to learn each day, feedback from engineers shows that he is absorbing all the information given to him and is improving. As a rookie, Yuki is just at the beginning of this journey, so it’s good that he can follow what we started together. It’s great for us to secure our driver pair so early in the season so that we can focus on the rest of 2021 where we’ll be in a big battle in the middle of the grid,” concluded Franz Tost.