In the recent rain-affected race at Zandvoort, French driver Pierre Gasly finished in an impressive fourth place. He was however promoted to third after Sergio Perez incurred a pitlane speeding penalty. This gave Alpine their second consecutive top three placement, with Gasly previously bagging third in the Belgian sprint race.
This triumphant performance came amid internal team shake-ups. Notably, Otmar Szafnauer, the team principal and Alan Permane, sporting director who shared 34 years at Enstone, recently exited because of irreconcilable differences with Renault, the parent company. Pat Fry, chief technical officer, has also left for Williams.
This has led to further reshuffling of roles with Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi being repositioned to work on special projects. Consequently, Bruno Famin, an ex-FIA staff member, now oversees motorsports operations in addition to his ongoing leadership of Viry-headquartered F1 engine programme.
Acknowledging a consistent improvement, Gasly expressed his pleasure about the new arrangements within the team. Speaking to French broadcaster Canal+, he said: “I’m glad to see that things are falling into place within the team, we’re learning to work better and better together. It’s going in the right direction, and we proved it again today.” He emphasised the need for continued hard work and urged improvements till the end of the year.
Gasly’s third position was primarily owing to his quick decision to pit for intermediate tyres at the end of the first lap when the rains first hit. This quick thinking set him apart from the majority of the grid who took longer to react to the changing weather conditions.
Gasly humbly reflected on his strategic decision saying, “Coming out of the last corner on lap one, I immediately understood that there was a big opportunity for us, so I asked the team to pit straightaway, and it paid off.” Adding further, Gasly said that the moment required crucial decisions. He praised the team’s effort and his ability to keep up with Ferrari and stay fairly close to Alonso.
The French driver concluded: “Many things happened, but you had to stay calm. I am really happy with the team’s work and what they achieved.”