Pierre Gasly is aiming to “speak the same language” as his new Alpine team after completing his first day of running at the Abu Dhabi post-season F1 test.
The session allowed Pirelli the chance to try the new compounds and constructions for next season, whilst for the drivers swapping teams, they had the opportunity to acclimatise to new environments at the race track.
For Gasly, his first day at Alpine ahead of his full switch from AlphaTauri was a big occasion, given he has been part of the Red Bull F1 family throughout his career.
After finishing his time with AlphaTauri ninth in the constructors’ standings, the Frenchman takes a leap up the grid as Alpine was the fourth-best team.
Assessing his time behind the wheel of the A522, Gasly said: “Very happy, positively surprised, everything went so smoothly. Adaptation went very well.
“I came with an open mind because it is the first time I have changed to a completely new environment, a completely new car.
‘Initially, everything felt different – steering, feeling, throttle pedal and stiffness of the pedals, the way it reacts, everything.
“It was kind of surprising at the start but we managed to get everything we wanted to.
“Very quickly I felt comfortable in the car and I understand why they finished fourth in the teams’ championship. It all makes sense to me.
“So I am very excited for what is coming.”
Gasly understands Alpine “potential”
While the on-track experience of a new car is vital, operational priorities include working with a new set of engineers and mechanics who may interact differently with driver feedback.
Reacting to the change of scenery as a whole, Gasly explained: “They have got pretty strong front grip in medium-speed and low-speed corners.
“They are things I have been working on and looking for this season. Just getting the first experience with the car and what you can do with it, how much it rotates, pretty quickly I understood the potential that it has.
“It went very well with the guys, the first day of properly working with them.
“The main point of the day was to start working with the engineers, getting to know the mechanics in the garage, the people in the engineering room, trying to speak the same language for what I need as a driver, understeer, oversteer and what I mean by all my feedback.
“Yeah, it has been positive and I have been very happy with what I have seen inside the garage.”