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BREAKING NEWS: Pierre Gasly to join Alpine in 2023

Gasly will form an all-French duo with Esteban Ocon at the French team

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Pierre Gasly will drive for Alpine from the 2023 season, having signed a multi-year contract.

Gasly and Ocon battle on track.
Gasly battles with the Alpine of Esteban Ocon earlier this season. (Image credit: Motorsport Images.)

The Frenchman leaves AlphaTauri more than five years after joining the team as a rookie late in the 2017 season.

He had been part of the Red Bull stable for almost a decade and was contracted to continue with the team next year, but the championship leaders have agreed to release him from his contract early.

“I am delighted to join the Alpine family and begin this new chapter in my Formula 1 career,” he said in an official statement.

“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.

A brief spell in the senior Red Bull team early in 2019 proved unsuccessful, with Gasly demoted back to the sister team after just 12 races. He has shone since rejoining the Italian outfit, though, even winning the 2020 Italian Grand Prix.

The 26-year-old will replace Fernando Alonso – who is heading to Aston Martin – joining Esteban Ocon to form an all-French line-up for the French team.

The news finally brings to an end the long saga of Alpine’s second seat.

Over the summer, after Alonso shocked the F1 paddock with the news of his imminent departure, Alpine quickly announced academy driver Oscar Piastri as their new driver.

The young Australian had secretly signed with McLaren, however, and – once the courts had confirmed that contract was valid – Alpine were suddenly left with an unexpected vacancy.

Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer had previously mentioned that as many as 14 drivers were on the team’s radar. Many names have been thrown around, but the rumours can now finally be put to bed with Gasly’s signing.

Potential tensions
Gasly and Ocon in a press conference.
The two drivers back in their respective Force India and Toro Rosso days. (Image credit: Andy Hone / LAT Images.)

It is well-known that, despite growing up as good friends, Gasly and Ocon no longer get on.

Both born in 1996, the pair grew up together on the karting tracks of Normandy, with Ocon even claiming to be responsible for effectively starting his compatriot’s motorsport career.

“When he was very young, maybe seven or eight, my parents were friends together with his parents,” he explained in 2017.

“I was driving go-karts one day, and he was there playing football. So my dad said, ‘Why don’t you try Esteban’s go kart?’ And after that he quit football! So from the beginning of my career we’ve known each other basically.”

At some point things appear to have turned sour, however, with various unconfirmed rumours as to how a friendly rivalry became a bitter one.

Ocon insists that there will be no issues in their new partnership, though.

“It’s going well, we have respect for each other,” he said when asked by Autosport about their current relationship. “I think that’s the important thing.”

Featured Image Credit: Red Bull

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