AlphaTauri has named an unchanged Formula 1 driver line-up for next year after announcing Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tusonda will remain with the team in 2022.
Gasly joined the Faenza-based outfit for five of the final six races in 2017 before earning a full-time race seat the following year.
Having earned a promotion to the Red Bull senior team in 2019, a difficult 12-race stint saw him return to AlphaTauri, then named Toro Rosso, midway through the season.
A first career podium followed in Brazil later that year before claiming a shock maiden victory at the 2020 Italian Grand Prix, almost a year after his demotion from Red Bull.
The Frenchman’s strong form has carried through to this year, qualifying in the top six at nine out of the 13 races so far, and finishing a best of third in Azerbaijan.
“I am very happy to be moving forward with Scuderia AlphaTauri for another season in Formula 1, especially after seeing the progress that we’ve made as a team since I first joined in 2017,” said Gasly.
“Seeing the performance we’ve shown so far this season, I think there are great things to achieve for the rest of this season and for next year, especially with the upcoming changes to the championship in 2022.
” I’m very excited to see what we can accomplish in the new era of F1 and to keep working with the team as best as I can to bring us forward in the team standings. This year has been very successful so far and I really believe we can work well together to do even better in 2022.”
Tsunoda graduated to F1 after a stellar debut campaign in Formula 2 where he finished third in the drivers’ standings, becoming the first Japanese driver on the grid since Kamui Kobayashi in 2014.
The Honda junior driver has scored five points finishes, including a season-best sixth place at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
While consistency has been Tsunoda’s achilles heel this year, he believes he is more “settled” following the decision to live close to the team’s factory in Faenza.
“I’m really excited to be staying with Scuderia AlphaTauri for a second season,” Tsunoda said. “It’s an incredible opportunity and I’m so thankful to the team and Dr Marko for letting me continue to grow my experience in Formula 1.
“I have a very good relationship with Pierre, I have learnt a lot from him already this year and his experience has helped me to keep developing my own skills, so it’s great to be continuing my F1 journey with him.
“Having recently moved out to Faenza I am feeling very settled within the team and am looking forward to the upcoming season.”
AlphaTauri currently sits sixth in the constructers’ championship just six points adrift of fifth-placed Alpine with nine races remaining.
Team boss Franz Tost believes Gasly and Tsunoda’s relationship has only been “positive” for the team, hoping it can end the year in a strong manner.
“I’m pleased to announce today that we will keep both our drivers here at Scuderia AlphaTauri for the 2022 season,” said Tost.
“Pierre’s development in the years has been impressive and in his time with us he managed to make it to all three steps of the podium. Starting with the second place in Brazil in 2019, he then won our home Grand Prix the following year in Monza and this year he has already achieved a podium with a 3rd place in Baku.
” I am confident there’s more to come and this is why we are excited to have him with us for another season. Furthermore, he is using his experience in F1 to help Yuki with his development.
“This year we have seen that the positive relationship between the two, made of a competitiveness on-track and a friendship off-track, has proven effective for the team.
“Yuki has joined the team as a rookie and is continuing to learn every day, the feedback from the engineers shows that he is absorbing all the information given to him and improving. As a rookie, Yuki is only at the beginning of this journey, so it’s good that he can continue what we’ve started together.
“It’s great for us to be securing our driver line-up so early in the season, so we can now focus on the rest of 2021, where we’re in a tough fight in the midfield pack.”