Gasly gets first taste of new Alpine in shakedown

Pierre Gasly has helped shake down the new Alpine

Pierre Gasly has helped shake down the new Alpine

Alpine has added its name to the roster of F1 teams to complete a shakedown ahead of the new season.

Esteban Ocon and new team-mate Pierre Gasly shared the driving duties of the A523 at Silverstone ahead of the car’s official launch in London on February 16.

Gasly completed nine laps of the British Grand Prix circuit and Gasly eight as the team racked up the maximum 100 kilometres permitted for what is essentially an early systems check of its challenger.

Following a trouble-free day, Ocon said: “It’s not until you get back out on track in a Formula 1 car that you realise how much you miss it.

“It was an honour to drive the A523 and experience first-hand all the hard work and improvements that have gone into this car.

“A big thank you to all the women and men at Viry and Enstone for reaching this milestone and seeing the car on track for the first time.

“The first lap is always a memorable one and I’m glad the day went smoothly.”

Gasly completes “stable laps”

Reflecting on his first foray behind the wheel following his winter move from AlphaTauri, Gasly said: “It’s a fantastic feeling to be driving again, especially in my new colours of Alpine.

“The day was about getting an initial feel for the car and it felt very good on the laps I drove.

“I know everyone at the team has worked tirelessly to develop the car over the winter and it’s a proud moment to drive it and see everyone’s faces in the garage.”

Technical director Matt Harman described the day as “another milestone ticked” for the team, especially given the smoothness of the day’s running.

Harman added: “Esteban drove first in the morning to check all the systems were working properly as well as completing the usual install programme for the car.

“Pierre was then in the car in the afternoon for the first time in the A523 and completed eight stable laps to get an initial feel of his new surroundings.

“These days are of course limited and not representative, but we’ve certainly had a great day and we now look forward to testing in Bahrain where we expect to continue our learning of the 2023 car.”

The single pre-season test session runs from February 23-25 at the Bahrain International Circuit, with the same venue hosting the opening grand prix on March 3-5.

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