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Pierre Gasly – The Unsung Hero of 2020 so far



What a Season Pierre Gasly is Having – A review so far


Pierre Gasly – The Unsung Hero of 2020 so far

With the 2020 F1 season well underway, some drivers have impressed fans whereas other drivers continue to struggle in these rather unusual and non-imaginable times.

The season has just finished its second triple-header last weekend, with Belgium Grand Prix on August 30th the start of the third triple-header. And we have seen several drivers impress in 2020, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton is once again in another league of his own, and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen continues progress season after season. Or you could look at McLaren’s Lando Norris, earning his first podium in the opening race to 7th in Driver Standings – six points behind Charles Leclerc in 4th.

However, one driver who hasn’t got anywhere near the credit he deserves so far this season is AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly. The Frenchman has been putting some terrific displays in the opening six races after a disappointing 2019 season.

Reviewing 2020 so far

AlphaTauri is supposedly one of the slowest cars on the grids, despite having the Honda engines. Only Williams, Alfa Romeo, and Haas have shown a slower pace throughout the six races, but Gasly has pushed the car to its limits so far in 2020.

The Frenchman finished in a respectable 7th place on F1’s return in Austria, before securing another two points finishes and one DNF. Overall, Gasly had accumulated 14 points in 2020, 12 more points than his fellow teammate, Daniil Kvyat.

Being 13th in the Driver standings doesn’t seem impressive at all, but just look at who’s ahead of him by two points – Esteban Ocon and Sebastian Vettel – and only six points behind Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo. Even with Ferrari’s troublesome season, their car, along with Renaults, is faster than Gasly’s AlphaTauri.

His perfect race of the season was the British Grand Prix in which Gasly described it as ‘one of my best races’. Whilst he failed to qualify in the top 10, Gasly showed some pace through and took several high-profile scalps, including Stroll and Vettel. The 24-year-old went onto finish in 7th, ahead of Red Bull’s Alex Albon, who replaced the Frenchman over 12 months ago.

Supposedly you could look back over his numbers in 2019 in the opening six races and say Galsy has gone backward. But if you are new to the sport, or forgot what happened, Gasly was in Red Bull’s seat – the third fastest car on the grid in 2019. However, the French driver struggled in his new adventure, failing to finish above 5th in his short career at Red Bull.

Although he was in an extremely faster car last season, Gasly has accumulated just under half of his points than last season in six races. Not only has scored some valuable points, but we have seen his confidence jump leaps and bounds in over a year. With Ferrari’s demise and Renault struggling, I reckon Gasly will finish above Vettel and Ocon in the final driver standings.

Can he replace Alex Albon at Red Bull?

From Gasly very first race for Red Bull in 2019, the driver was hesitant and lacked confidence in his overtaking ability. This forced hierarchy to quickly replace him with Toro Rosso’s Alex Albon half-way in 2019. Whilst many expected to continue spiraling down after being demoted, Gasly has been in terrific form, rediscovering his motivation and went onto to score his first podium finish at the 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix.

Whereas Albon, who was impressive and eye-catching in the final nine rounds in 2019 for Red Bull, has started to be questioned about his position.

P4 and P5 finishes seem like decent results, but Red Bull is currently the second-fastest car on the grid and should be challenging his teammate. However, the Thai-British driver hasn’t even come close to Verstappen in qualifying or in Sunday’s race.

Albon has struggled for pace in Saturday’s qualifying session, failing to progress to Q3 on two occasions in 2020 and Galsy has out-qualified Albon in the last three weekends. It’s obvious Albon is struggling with the car and hasn’t lacked confidence after some terrific overtaking in 70th Anniversary GP against Kimi Raikkonen and Pierre Gasly.

Red Bull just needs to spend some time fixing the car to Albon’s abilities and improve Saturday’s pace, as Albon can be one of the best overtakers on his day. For Pierre Gasly, the Frenchman needs to see out in 2020 with AlphaTauri and continue his terrific form. Can I see him joining another big team? No, but could definitely replace Fernando Alonso at Renault in a few years.


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