Pierre Gasly says he is ready to become AlphaTauri's team leader in 2021 following the arrival of Formula 1 rookie Yuki Tsunoda.

AlphaTauri's decision to replace Daniil Kvyat with Tsunoda means Gasly becomes the team's most experienced driver with just 64 F1 starts to his name.

When asked about the role he has to play in the team, Gasly said he is embracing the prospect of leading AlphaTauri to further success in 2021.

“Of course, Yuki’s arrival means I will have more responsibility within the team and I’m ready to take on the role of team leader,” Gasly said. “However, he is a very quick driver and he will help us move the team forward. I know Yuki, he is a competitive guy and showed what he can do in F2, that’s why he was promoted to F1 after just one year.

“We will work together to achieve that. He lacks experience, so it won’t always be easy for him, but I think he is talented and it will also be up to me and the team to lead the way. His arrival doesn’t really change my approach, which will be the same as last year, when we got the most out of what we had to work with at pretty much all the Grand Prix, apart from one or two.”

The Faenza-based outfit enjoyed its best season in terms of points scored in 2020, picking up 107 compared to 85 in 2019 when it raced under the Toro Rosso name.

Gasly says maintaining the same approach as they did in 2020 will be the key to enjoying another fruitful season.

“So, we must keep going with the same philosophy, as I really believe last year was the team’s best in terms of the way it worked, the development, the performance and in the way it managed the race weekends,” Gasly added. “I think that goes for me too and we just have to keep going like this to try and do a little bit better than we did last year.”

After being dropped by Red Bull midway through 2019 in favour of Alexander Albon, Gasly has enjoyed a remarkable renaissance.

The Frenchman scored his maiden F1 podium in Brazil later that year and then took a remarkable first victory at the Italian Grand Prix in 2020.

Gasly believes remaining with the same team and maintaining that continuity was key to his surge in form.

“I put my good results last year down to being more experienced, as it was my third season in F1 and also the first time I had stayed for a second full season with the same team,” Gasly said. “I’d say it was mainly the continuity from 2019 that paid off, working with the same engineers, having a better understanding of what we are doing and as a team we all succeeded in exploiting the experiences from the previous two years.

“I’m always hungry for more, so I’m sure we can achieve great things also in 2021.”

 

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