Pierre Gasly has completed the all-French line-up for Alpine F1 Team for the 2023 season, with Nyck De Vries taking his vacant seat at AlphaTauri.
The current AlphaTauri number one driver will be leaving his teammate Yuki Tsunoda behind to link up with Esteban Ocon, someone that Gasly clashed with back in their karting days.
Ocon has had notably frosty relationships with previous drivers, colliding with Sergio Perez in Singapore back in 2017, and even as recent as working with Alonso, with the Spaniard left exasperated a few times this season by his aggressive driving.
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In the pair for next season, Alpine get two one-time Grand Prix winners, with Gasly becoming a race winner back at Monza in 2020, and Ocon finding his maiden victory in Hungary last season after an early restart setting him up with the perfect chance for a win.
Gasly also has experience driving in a top team, driving alongside Max Verstappen after Daniel Ricciardo made his move to the then-named Renault side.
Despite reports of a rift, it’s clear that Ocon is willing to work with his rival, saying ‘Yeah’ when asked by motorsport news outlet Autosport. ‘It’s going well, we have respect for each other. I think that’s the important thing.
‘It doesn’t matter in the end who’s next to me, I will keep the job that I’m doing now with my team, keeping understanding the car and the progress that we’ve made since I joined the team in 2020. It’s been huge.’
Speaking on his move to Alpine, Gasly was clearly enticed by Alpine as a team on the rise: ‘I am delighted to join the Alpine family and begin this new chapter in my Formula 1 career. Driving for a team that has French roots is something very special.
‘I know the strengths of Alpine having raced against them over the past couple of years and, clearly, their progress and ambition is very impressive.’
Speaking on, Gasly also found time to thank the team he’ll continue to race for until the end of the season, ‘I wish to thank Red Bull as this marks the end of our 9-year journey together. It is thanks to their trust and support that I became a Formula 1 driver, and what we’ve achieved with Scuderia AlphaTauri over the last years has been very special.
'Looking ahead, I want to give the maximum and utilise all my experience to fight for podiums and ultimately contribute to Alpine’s fight for championships in the future.’
In regards to his seat over at AlphaTauri, the Faenza-based side confirmed that Nyck De Vries will fill his space for next season.
The Dutch 27-year-old impressed on his F1 racing debut, managing to finish eighth at Monza, in a Williams that Alex Albon has found similar success with this year, and outperforming teammate Nicholas Latifi too.
De Vries is AlphaTauri’s choice after the team attempted to sign Indycar star Colton Herta, but the American didn’t qualify for an FIA Super License, and the team were unable to convince the governing body to provide one on the grounds of special exemption.
Before becoming an F1 driver for the first time this season, De Vries was a Formula E World Champion in the 2020/21 season, racing for Mercedes-EQ alongside Mercedes and McLaren development driver, Stoffel Vandoorne, who won the title this year in the team's final season in Formula E. He's had quite the career already and F1 is the natural next-step for the 2019 F2 champion.
The only two seats left on the grid following these two appointments is that of Nicholas Latifi over at Williams, who confirmed in September that this will be his final year racing for the team and Mick Schumacher's seat at Haas. Rumours of replacements continue to circle, but it's expected that Williams development driver Logan Sargeant will step up to take Latifi's seat.
At Haas, it seems that there's a four-man scramble for the final seat between Schumacher, Daniel Ricciardo, Nico Hulkenberg and Antonio Giovinazzi. Engine supplier Ferrari might push them more towards their backup driver Giovinazzi, but Gunther Steiner has plenty of options.
Speaking after his move was confirmed, De Vries said, ‘I’m extremely excited to be joining Scuderia AlphaTauri for 2023 and I want to thank both Red Bull and the team for giving me the opportunity to drive in F1.
‘After Formula 2, I took a slightly different path with motorsport, but F1 has always been my dream and I’m grateful to be able to fulfil it.
‘I’ve had a lot of chances to experience the 2022 car this year and I think that has put me in a great position for the upcoming season, I hope this has helped to prepare me for what is to come.
‘Having spent most of my teenage years in Italy for karting, I’ve always felt at home there, so for me it’s great to be joining an Italian team, that already has a real family feel, and I’m looking forward to meeting everyone and to start to build our relationship before the next season.’
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