Pierre Gasly described his Alpine debut as “a fantastic feeling” after he finished fourth at 2022 F1 Post-Season Test in Abu Dhabi.
Less than 48 hours after he completed his final F1 race for AlphaTauri after five-and-a-half seasons together, Gasly made his testing debut for Alpine after he signed a contract to replace Fernando Alonso for next season earlier this autumn.
A successful one-day test ultimately saw Gasly finish fourth-fastest on the timesheet behind the Ferrari trio of Charles Leclerc, Carlos Sainz and Robert Shwartzman, as teams tested the final versions of Pirelli’s planned 2023 tyre selection.
Speaking after his solid debut for Alpine, Gasly praised the team for their “welcome” and helping him to adapt as the French constructor prepare to mount a defence of their fourth-placed finish in the Constructors; standings next season.
Gasly proceeded to describe driving Alpine’s “impressive” A522 car as “a fantastic feeling” as he familarised himself with his new team, whilst forming a bond with his new engineers and built up his understanding of the car and its characteristics across 130 laps.
On his plans ahead of the festive break, Gasly commented: “I’m looking forward to visiting everyone at Viry and Enstone, debriefing on this test, before working towards our objectives alongside Esteban for the 2023 season.”
Gasly wasn’t the only driver at the wheel for Alpine as Jack Doohan fulfilled Alpine’s Young Driver requirement in the second car, with the Australian finishing 11th fastest and 0.016 seconds off Liam Lawson in tenth for Red Bull.
Reflecting on his third outing in a F1 car in recent weeks after participating in FP1 in Mexico and Abu Dhabi, Doohan described the test as “another good experience” with 111 laps completed across the day’s running.
Doohan also reflected upon the difference between a full day of testing and FP1 sessions, as he commented: “Last weekend in Free Practice 1 was only one hour long, so to have a full day in the car is extremely useful as you can get a lot done in a less pressured environment.”
Today though won’t be Doohan’s only test run in Abu Dhabi as he now prepares to return to Virtuosi for the F2 Post-Season Test, as he added: Now my focus turns back to Formula 2 again where I’m back in the car for three days of testing in Abu Dhabi before the off-season.”