Gasly became the first French winner of an F1 race in 24 years after claiming a surprise victory at the Italian Grand Prix last year, fending off Carlos Sainz Jr to score a famous result for AlphaTauri.
He watched Gasly break through a drought dating back to Olivier Panis’ victory for Ligier at the 1996 Monaco Grand Prix, becoming the 13th French Grand Prix winner.
But Gasly was unable to race at home last year after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the French GP to be called off from its usual June date.
F1 will return to Paul Ricard this weekend, giving Gasly the chance to race in front of French fans as a grand prix winner for the very first time.
“Next is my home race and yes we obviously know I really want to do well there in front of all the fans and spectators,” Gasly said.
“Especially going back there as the winner of the race will feel quite special.”
Winner Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri AT0, 1st position, passes his team over the pit wall
Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images
Gasly will also arrive at home after two impressive trips to Monaco and Baku, winning his third career F1 podium at the latter two weeks ago. The result allowed AlphaTauri to move up to fifth place in the constructors’ championship ahead of Aston Martin.
Gasly felt that if AlphaTauri was to try to get to the bottom of his toughest races, he also had to understand why he had performed so well on the first two F1 tracks of the year.
“As much as we need to analyze and understand when things aren’t going well, I think when they are [go] really good – like [in Baku], we’ve been showing a very, very strong pace all weekend – we have to understand why, ”Gasly said.
“Because at the moment we don’t really have the answer. Obviously, surprises like this are more than welcome more often during the season.
“But I think, more than anything, we need to understand where this is coming from.”