SportF1Szafnauer suggests Alonso doesn't have what Alpine F1 was...

Szafnauer suggests Alonso doesn't have what Alpine F1 was looking for

Vettel’s withdrawal from F1 prompted Alonso to leave Alpine for Aston Martin, and although the French team had a replacement on hand, Pierre Gasly also jumped ship for McLaren.

That forced Alpine to look for a replacement, and the selection process has ended with the choice of Pierre Gasly, who will be Ocon ‘s partner from the 2023 Formula 1 season.

The relationship between Otmar Szafnauer and Alonso has not been the best in recent months, and the director has never missed an opportunity to leave messages between the lines. The last one has happened with the announcement of Pierre Gasly.

At the FIA press conference this Saturday at the Japanese GP, the Romanian-American had to answer about the signing of Gasly, in the second question he was asked about how long after the departure of Fernando Alonso they decided to sign the Gallic.

The next question was about the Gasly-Ocon relationship, before talking about which practice session Jack Doohan will play. Therefore, when the next question came, Szafnauer had been mentioned, in addition to his two drivers for 2023, both Alonso and Doohan , and explaining why they chose Gasly, who had a contract with AlphaTauri, he replied.

“As I explained, we included Gasly in the list of candidates. And one of the reasons is that he was going to be available and in 2024, not 2023. And then it was quite evident to us that he has experience, youth and speed, and that is hard to say for a lot of drivers who are still inside Formula 1.”

“Even the other two you mentioned didn’t have those things. So we’re lucky to have signed Gasly, and I’m looking forward to working with him.”

Although many believe that with “the other two” he was referring to Fernando Alonso and Oscar Piastri , the truth is that the name of the Australian had not yet come to the fore. But yes the Spanish.

On the other hand, Szafnauer admitted relief to have already resolved his line-up for 2023, and in the Gasly signing statement he said that the still driver of the Red Bull program will form together with Esteban Ocon a “lineup of drivers that is a great reflection of our great ambitions.”

For his part, the general manager, Laurent Rossi , also highlighted the qualities they appreciate in their new acquisition: “He is a talented and motivated driver who will contribute positively to our objectives in F1. Pierre [Gasly] is fully aligned with the ambition and the progression that, to date, has been the hallmark of the Alpine project.”

“As a young driver, but with great experience and success, his trajectory is in line with ours, and we look forward to growing together.”

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