Gasly & Tsunoda the 'best possible' pairing as AlphaTauri eye midfield gains

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Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda are the "best possible" pairing as AlphaTauri eye the front of Formula 1's midfield in 2021.

The sister Red Bull outfit enjoyed arguably their best season in 2020, Gasly gave the team their second ever win at Monza and AlphaTauri scored the most points they've ever managed in a single year.

With the Frenchman kept on for 2021, disappointingly some might say, now he faces an interesting challenge against Tsunoda, perhaps the most promising Red Bull junior since Gasly himself!

“For this season we are running an interesting driver pairing. We have an experienced driver and a rookie," team boss Franz Tost said at the launch of their new car.

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"I reckon Pierre is one of the strongest drivers in F1 nowadays. His good technical understanding allows him to get the best out of the car, he has been with the team for some time now, so he is familiar with all procedures and with our way of working.

"He will be a good leader, helping Yuki in his development, he knows how to win a race - as he proved last year in Monza - and if we provide him with a competitive car, I expect him to be very successful this season.

"Then, we have Yuki, who finished third in the F2 Championship and watching his races last year in F2 I must say he did a fantastic job, winning races and carrying out many impressive overtaking manoeuvres," the Austrian added.

"Yuki has already completed some tests with us in an F1 car and I’m convinced that he will have a successful start in his F1 career, due to his natural speed and his talent.”

In recent years, there have been some questions asked about the Red Bull driver stable with AlphaTauri having to bring back former members to fill seats.

As a result, Tost is pretty pleased to see a fresh young talent come through.

“The decision to go for Pierre and Yuki in 2021 was taken because Scuderia AlphaTauri’s philosophy is still to give talented young drivers from the Red Bull Junior Programme the opportunity to step up to F1 and to educate them – this is why Yuki now gets his chance," he declared.

"With Pierre on Yuki’s side we have an experienced driver, who can help our Japanese rookie to develop faster, but at the same time, we can aim for good results.

"I think this pair is the best possible scenario to achieve both our targets and I’m also confident this will be a successful one.”

And those targets are particularly bold for the Faenza-based squad, but come after a promising end to last year.

“In 2020, AlphaTauri was a midfield team, we were fighting successfully against the other teams like McLaren, Renault and Racing Point but our target for this year is to consistently be at the top of this midfield pack and to improve further," the team boss stated.

"To achieve this, we have to avoid reliability issues and finish all races in the points. This can only happen if we do not make any mistakes, so we have to be 100% concentrated on our job, race after race, on and off the track, because our competitors are hard to fight.

"We will also do our best to provide a good show for all the F1 fans, who I hope to see back at the track filling the grandstands soon."