For a driver who scored no fewer than 110 points in the 2021 season, Pierre Gasly is anything but his usually cool-headed and sparkly this year. So what’s happened? What has gone wrong, if that’s not such a painful way to summarise a season that doesn’t have too many rights?
Three race retirements, one each at Bahrain, Miami and Great Britain, and it suddenly seems the ever-capable Pierre Gasly, quite honestly the don of the midfield in a way, is desperate to experience a new dawn of sorts in 2022.
Though, in truth it’s not the DNF’s alone that sum up 2022 for the noted Alpha Tauri driver; that Pierre Gasly’s last points cam at Baku, home to the Azerbaijan Grand Prix exacerbate his troubles.
And these aren’t minute issues that one would like to shove under the carpet without much ado. From thirteen races so far, all that the young Frenchman has scored so far are 16 points.
Moreover, we are well past the halfway stage and with no Russian Grand Prix anymore, there are only nine more races to go.
Against that narrative, to ace the upcoming challenge at the heart of the Ardennes is a must for the former Red Bull driver. And truth be told, it isn’t just Daniel Ricciardo alone who has to make the most of the chances that are left anyway.
The world’s come to expect a lot out of Pierre Gasly and the boy with the innocent smile has earned it. From winning at Monza in 2020, arguably speaking his greatest moment (as on date) to setting that belter of a lap on the final lap at the Hungaroring in 2021, Pierre Gasly has grown by leaps and bounds.
He’s no longer just the talented Rouen-born Motorsport driver. Gasly’s charted a zone of confidence at Alpha Tauri so fervently that he doesn’t seem to be the part-aloof, partly-fast Red Bull driver that was found struggling to match Max Verstappen.
It’s with great earnestness and self belief that the driver once left gutted by the Horner-led team’s decision has forged a remarkably improved journey in the sport’s top flight.
Performances like the bold but vastly underrated P7 at Austria (2020), which happened to be his maiden drive for Alpha Tauri and the fifth at the Yas Marina last year have upheld a driver we tend to often ignore perhaps out of our fixation for the podium grabbers.
But that’s how the sport is, isn’t it? It ebbs and flows but seldom lacking in thrill. And thrill is what Pierre Gasly will seek at the breathtakingly beautiful Spa-Francorchamps, home to the Belgian Grand Prix.
As he’ll take to the wheels of the Alpha Tauri AT03 in the next few hours for the salubrious 44-lap run, he’ll also be reminded of going a touch better than the sixth he garnered here in 2021. It also happens to be his best result yet at the Belgian Grand Prix.
But for now, all eyes on the qualifying. May Pierre make the most out of it and give us a race to remember!