First Race Karts
First Race Cars
I like all kind of sports including tennis, badminton, squash, football, skiing and videos games to relax.
Favourite circuit cars
No fav but likes Electro and US Rap
It will be hard for Pierre Gasly to better his epic 2016 season where he led the Prema Team to victory in the GP2 Series. It was their first year in the category and Gasly's example helped team mate Antonio Giovinazzi become his greatest opposition in a titanic struggle hat was only resolved in the Frenchman's favour at the final round in Abu Dhabi.
2017 will be very different for Pierre as he will be the one needing the surrounding experience as he jumps into the Super Formula Japan. "This a big new challenge for me and that is exactly what I love. For sure Japan is special. I went to the Grand Prix at Suzuka in 2015 as part of my work with Red Bull Racing so I have an idea of what to expect It is all going to be very different, I have no experience with the car or the tracks and I know that the Japanese culture, philosophy, way of working, just about everything is different."
"In a way I am following what Stoffel Vandoorne did last year before going into F1. It is more experience to add to the GP2 campaign last year," enthused the GP2 champion. "I am also really pleased to be third driver at Red Bull Racing for another season, to work closely with Max and Daniel, gaining more experience on how the team works, how they behave at the GPs. There is a lot to learn about the new car and new regulations, it is all very valuable."
"I think the Super Formula will help with that, a bit less power than a GP2 car so slower in a straight line but with more aero so quicker through the corners and that also relates to this year's F1 car. It will be very interesting to see how they all compare."
"I'm going into the Super Formula season with very little testing so it won't be easy at all, a car and six new tracks to learn. I'll still be based in Europe and flying backwards to Japan for the races there and my Red Bull Racing work here, It's going to be a great year."
Though Pierre was one of the obvious favourites for the GP2 title the series had not been kind to him in 2015 and he was leading the Prema team into unknown waters for them. He knew he had to get a better handle on the tyre degradation and at the same time the team had to learn what it took to win in GP2 after their many successes in other formulae.
It wasn't an easy season even though the speed was there right from the start and it made victory all the sweeter. "It means so much, because this season has been really tough, mentally and physically," her explained when it was over in Abu Dhabi. "My mother was hospitalised for three months, and I had a broken vertebrae for two and a half months after Silverstone, and tough times in race like at the Red Bull Ring, where I led the race but got stuck in the gravel, or in Monza when we were first and the safety car came out, and we lost the victory, or the extinguisher in Hockenheim: honestly, I could write a book about my season! So many things happened, but we never stopped fighting: that's a great achievement to see that all the hard work paid off in the end, my team never stopped working and supporting me, and all these people helped me to win this championship."
Being a favourite obviously put extra pressure on him. "In a way it's good, because it means they expect you to perform, but after that it means that you've got to deliver, which is not easy at this level because there are so many talented guys: there are many who can take a pole or win a race here (in GP2), so it wasn't easy!"
Though he knew he had to turn things around after 2015 and the team lacked specific GP2 experience Pierre never had serious doubts about what was possible. "No, we started really well with a pole at the first race and knew straight away we had the pace, and afterwards we were trying to get all the pieces of the puzzle together. It was the first season for the team, and the first time I've worked with them, and we had to get used to working together and what we needed."
"We had a few races to put everything in place - the performance was always good, but we missed something to get the victory - but I could feel the potential for it and we keep working for it, and I knew it would come at some point. It was a really tough moment in the Red Bull Ring when I was leading and went off and I thought it doesn't want to come," he laughed. "But it gave me motivation to be so close, because at this level you have to improve in every detail, everything makes a difference, and that's what I've tried to do all season, and in the end it paid off."
And the biggest memories from 2016? "Silverstone was really emotional for me, so many emotions that I will always remember, but for me Spa was a crazy race, the closest race to my home so I had so many people there to see me, to support me, and I won the race, which was mega! In the second race I enjoyed it because I had really nice battles and good overtaking, which is what we like in a race."
Gasly was impressively quick as soon as he got into the Dams GP2 car at the end of season test in 2014. He had some late 2014 season GP2 racing experience but the situation wasn't competitive, things looked very different as soon as he got with the Dams team. The impressive performances continued through preseason testing in 2015 and he was one of the favourites when the season started at the Sakhir circuit, Bahrain in April.
Unfortunately a combination of tyre life and grip issues combined with some bad luck wrecked that first race weekend and no points were scored. The rest of the season provided plenty of evidence that Gasly and the Dams car had speed, the second weekend produced a third in Race 2 in Barcelona, Silverstone saw a fourth and a third, a second in Race 1 at the Hungaroring and then pole at Monza.
That Italian weekend showed that fortune was just stacked against Gasly in 2015. Fastest in practice, fastest in qualifying, he shot into an early lead only to have a mechanical failure force retirement. He fought back with second in Race 1 at Sochi in Russia. He was on pole again in both the last rounds, the second visit to Sakhir International Circuit, and the season finale in Yas Marina Circuit, United Arab Emirates but the win remained illusive.
Eighth in the final points table was rough justice, tied on points with sixth and seventh, that hurt almost as much as the missing wins and there was only one thing to do. Return in 2016 to take care of unfinished business.
"I quickly had a great feeling with the Prema team as soon as we started working together at the GP2 Abu Dhabi test last December, extremely professional and experienced. They have won a lot of championships and while they know that moving up to GP2 will be a great challenge we are confident that we can win," said Pierre at the time.
2014 had been very different as Gasly contested Formula Renault 3.5 along with fellow Red Bull Junior Carlos Sainz. Gasly was second, a great result who following his Renault 2 litre title from the year before.The 18-year-old only missed out on a race win in his debut 3.5 season because of the dominant Sainz but took six runner-up spots and a pair of thirds.
Winning the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup in 2013 was just the latest list of successes that marked his early career. The easy going, smiling face that looks calm and relaxed hides an on-track determination that is assumed when the helmet is worn. His commitment to hard work has produced excellent results both at school and on the track, he attended the 10-to-15-year-old Auto Sport Academy in Le Mans as part of his development where he could also continue his normal education.
He was born into a motorsports family and the development has been natural. "Since I was 2 years old, I was at the kart tracks to follow my brothers who were racing, so maybe the fact of smelling this special odour at the track from such a very young made me crazy and in love with this sport!"
Even before that it was in his blood. "My grandfather did some go-kart races, then my father followed his lead and did a bit of karting, rally and some endurance races as well. I have four brothers, 3 of them did also some races of karting so I think there is something in our genes. I had my first test in karting at age 6, after that though nothing for 3 years because I had to understand that I had to work hard as the priority and then I started competition at age 9."
Having grown up in a motorsports focussed family it is not surprising that his racing hero is Ayrton Senna. The support that he had from his earliest outings in racing has never wavered. "It is partly thanks to my family if I could race until today, because my parents worked hard each year to find the funding. After that they know that they can't do anything during a meeting so they have just left me alone during the week-end to let me focus on my goal."
Just as that support is always there so is Pierre's focus and determination. "My goal is very clear in my mind, if I work hard all days it's to become World Champion in F1 one day. I drive every time only to win and to be the best. This is the way to find the motivation and determination."
He had that determination when he was kart racing and as soon as he made the transition to cars he was rewarded with what he still sees as his best ever race. "It's my first victory in a car. It was in Spa with the F4. I remember, it was so good this first feeling of victory in car, especially to get it in Spa! I started 5th and I just fought hard to cross the line first at the end on my favourite track."
Since then he has had many great racing moments and from last year he picks out the French round of the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup. "My victory in Le Castellet in my home track. It's always a different feeling when you win on your home track, I had a lot of people who came there to see my race, so it was great to thank them by this winning, and in the same time I took the series lead after this so it was a perfect race for me!
He had already showed that he would be a threat for the title with two second places at Spa in the second event of the year, he also took the fastest lap in Race 2 and not surprisingly this is his favourite circuit. "Spa is mythical. It's always special when you arrive at the bottom of Eau Rouge and the track is so long, and you go so far, you're alone in the forest, it's very exciting! You know that the track is longer, so that means you have more time to make more difference, so each lap it's 2 minutes of pure happiness."
Happiness away from the track is also precious. "I enjoy the life with my family, and my close friends," says Pierre who enjoys studying sociology but certainly he spends most of his time thinking about racing. While winning is the goal there is a great deal of satisfaction in the process. "I think racing gives me the most satisfaction during a qualification lap. It's awesome, when you get the pole position. It's a great satisfaction, because you know that you were at 200% during all the lap, you just give the maximum of yourself and all the potential of the car in one lap and it´s a strong job!"