AlphaTauri retain Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda for 2022

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Italian team to continue with same line-up for the next season.

AlphaTauri announced their decision to retain their current driver pairing of Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda for the 2022 season on Tuesday, ahead of the Italian Grand Prix.

After his demotion from the Red Bull team, Gasly is in his third season during his second stint with the Faenza-based team. His teammate, Yuki Tsunoda, who is in his rookie year currently, also keeps his seat having showcased enough talent and skill to not be replaced.

Gasly, who made his debut with the team back in 2017, was promoted to Red Bull for the 2019 season after Daniel Ricciardo made a shock move to Renault. Gasly’s stint with Red Bull was short-lived, as under pressure he failed to live up to the expectations and was sent back to AlphaTauri in the middle of the 2019 season.

Since his return to the sister Red Bull team, the young Frenchman has been an absolute revelation, taking three podiums with the team, including a sensational maiden victory at the 2020 Italian Grand Prix.

There had been talks about a possible return to Red Bull, but after Red Bull confirmed their decision to stick with Sergio Pérez for another season, Gasly’s options were limited. A switch to Williams was an option, but the Frenchman eventually decided to stick with AlphaTauri for another season.

Speaking about Gasly’s future with the team, team boss Franz Tost said, “Pierre’s development in the years has been impressive and in his time with us he managed to make it to all three steps of the podium, I am confident there’s more to come and this is why we are excited to have him with us for another season. Furthermore, he is using his experience in F1 to help Yuki with his development. This year we have seen that the positive relationship between the two, made of a competitiveness on-track and a friendship off-track, has proven effective for the team.”

Gasly himself spoke about the possibilities that lie ahead, stating, “I am very happy to be moving forward with Scuderia AlphaTauri for another season in Formula 1, especially after seeing the progress that 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 great things to achieve for the rest of this season and for next year, especially with the upcoming changes to the championship in 2022. I’m very excited to see what we can accomplish in the new era of F1 and to keep working with the team as best as I can to bring us forward in the team standings. This year has been very successful so far and I really believe we can work well together to do even better in 2022.”

Gasly’s teammate, Yuki Tsunoda, who has had a mixed year, having had a few tough races after a promising start to the season in Bahrain, has impressed his team enough for them to believe in the Japanese driver for another season. Tsunoda, who has scored 18 points till date in his rookie season, was also the very first Japanese driver to score points on debut.

Speaking about Tsunoda’s skill, Tost said, “Yuki has joined the team as a rookie and is continuing to learn every day, the feedback from the engineers shows that he is absorbing all the information given to him and improving. As a rookie, Yuki is only at the beginning of this journey, so it’s good that he can continue what we’ve started together. It’s great for us to be securing our driver line-up so early in the season, so we can now focus on the rest of 2021, where we’re in a tough fight in the midfield pack.”

The young Japanese himself spoke about his partnership with Gasly and his plans ahead: “I’m really excited to be staying with Scuderia AlphaTauri for a second season. It’s an incredible opportunity and I’m so thankful to the team for letting me continue to grow my experience in Formula 1 with them. I have a very good relationship with Pierre, I have learnt a lot from him already this year and his experience has helped me to keep developing my own skills, so it’s great to be continuing my F1 journey with him. Having recently moved out to Faenza I am feeling very settled within the team and am looking forward to the upcoming season.”

AlphaTauri currently lie sixth in the Constructors’ standings, after being involved in an intense lower-midfield battle with Alpine, Aston Martin and Williams of late. The Italian team will hope that both Gasly and Tsunoda can help them finish this season on a high before leading them to the front of the grid next year as the new regulations come through.

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