AlphaTauri Pierre Gasly is disappointed with the lack of variety of technical regulations that have emerged in the new era of Formula 1 yet in 2022, and says the fact that more teams can’t compete up front is a bit sad.
The Frenchman is 14th in the drivers’ standings after the campaign’s opening seven rounds, and is struggling in a car that has fallen off the grid since last season.
The scene has been shaken this season after F1 underwent its biggest regulatory change in a generation over the winter, forcing the ten teams to design their machines from scratch as the aerodynamics of ground-impact was brought back for the first time since the 1980s.
The changes are designed to bring the field closer together, and allow cars to follow each other more easily, which means drivers can race against each other more aggressively.
So far, the changes have received mostly positive reaction, with tactical battles for the lead between Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc in the early races of the season being strong evidence that the follow-up and fights are indeed becoming more frequent.
Every team has already scored points in at least two races so far this season, but the goal for more drivers to be able to compete for victories and podiums is yet to be met. So far, only Verstappen, Leclerc and Sergio Perez have won the races, while Lando Norris is the only driver outside of Red Bull, Ferrari or Mercedes to take the podium.
“I was expecting the two to close the field together – which I think happened in midfield,” Gasly said. “I think if you look from fourth to probably last, in fact, I think we all put together a lot.
But the first three are a different world. Until last year, I got excited a few times because I was able to outrun Ferrari, sometimes Red Bull, sometimes Mercedes – I felt like those top three were faster, but they weren’t in a different league that you can tease them sometimes. This year, there is no way.
For Gasly, whose deal with AlphaTauri runs until the end of 2023, only Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas has been able to disrupt those at the front of the field, and a solution must be found.
There is clearly a huge step in between – only Bottas can challenge them sometimes. But they are on their own, and we are literally fighting for seventh place. Which is a little sad, because the goal was clearly shutdown.
So I hope we can find any solution for the coming years because that’s the goal and that’s what we’re all pushing for [for] as drivers. We want drivers to have a greater influence and input on the bottom line.
The 26-year-old Gasly is two places and five points behind his younger teammate Yuki Tsunoda in the standings.
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