Fuel for Thought is Sports Illustrated exclusive Q&A with Formula 1 celebrities.
Pierre Gasly echoes his definition of resilience, the word ‘sacrifice’ inscribed throughout his roller coaster journey to F1.
One day, when he came home from school, he found people in his house tearing pictures off the walls and writing down family belongings. A stranger told him that his parents “hadn’t paid taxes in a while.” Things will get better…we promise.
Even though his family and team were financially “trying to put the pieces together for me to race”, Guthrie was still thriving at the track. By the age of 13, he was determined to leave Rouen to continue racing and eventually he caught the eye of his scouts at Red Bull Talent. He was soon signed to the Junior Program and joined Pipeline after completing his studies.
Gasly eventually received a call (or text) to join Toro Rosso (now known as AlphaTauri) and his natural speed and work ethic set the up-and-coming driver apart. He was eventually called up to Red Bull to fight alongside Max Verstappen, but after just 12 races the Frenchman was demoted to his sister team in 2019.
Less than three weeks later, Gasly’s longtime friend Antoine Hubert died in a multiple car accident during a Formula 2 race at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium. The next day, Gasly finished ninth at the same track in his first race with Toro Rosso.
Three years later, Gasly is eyeing the 100th Grand Prix at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps. He scored his first F1 podium, his first F1 win and over 200 points since relegation.
Based on statistics, the 2022 campaign may not look as successful, but the Frenchman and AlphaTauri have had an upward trajectory as seen in their tight midfield battle. He is 13th, just three points behind Daniel Ricciardo and tied with Sebastian Vettel on 16 points. With new regulations and a new car, it was a learning process for everyone involved.
As F1 gears up for its first Grand Prix of triple header, sports illustrated We spoke to a Frenchman about summer vacation travel, the importance of spas, and his coffee habits.
The questions and answers below have been edited for brevity and clarity.
Sports Illustrated: How was your summer vacation?
Pierre Guthrie: good. Absolutely loved it. Had a great vacation with my friends and managed to catch up with them. I went to Greece for a week. For quite some time after that, I spent the holidays with my whole family, all my siblings. In fact, the family is growing rapidly. We currently have 6 of us, and 2 of them will be welcoming new members to the family next year. It was very busy but at the same time it was very relaxing and I was able to spend very quality time with them. I like it very much.
SI: Basically, even though I’m traveling around the world, I need a different kind of charging.
page: yes. Traveling is part of my life for me. [you] Get used to it now. But no, it was great to have some downtime and not have much to think about. I enjoy spending time with my family. During my time off I am very active doing all kinds of activities, golf, wakeboarding and always at sea. I have to say that kids can keep you busy too, and it feels like exercise at times.
SI: I’m looking forward to this weekend, how are you feeling? It’s going to be a difficult weekend given the importance of Spa, but it’s also the 100th Grand Prix.
page: The 100th Grand Prix, for me, as I plan to stay in this sport for the next 10 years, is definitely great. [It], maybe it doesn’t make people feel as strong as they can imagine. Spa is obviously a very special place for me because it’s one of my favorite tracks on the calendar. I love the racetrack, won my first race here and have always had very successful races here. At the same time, I also experienced the worst experiences of my life, the worst feelings and emotions. So every time I come here, all the experiences and emotions I’ve received here are mixed together and it’s not something I can really forget, so it’s always been like this. It’s something that is always deep inside and in your heart. It will always feel very special.
SI: Looking at the race itself, this track has had some upgrades and changes. what should we monitor? What part of the track do you think is the hardest and why?
page: We say that all runoff areas have been changed, but not all, but quite a few areas have been changed. The course is a little more difficult in the sense that if you make a mistake the entire course is gravel. It means paying a higher price. But don’t go astray in the first place. This is the same as every year, with the race and racetrack layout unchanged. I mean pretty much using the curbs… I don’t think it makes much of a difference in terms of driving but you could see more safety cars due to these gravel floors where the car could basically get stuck There is a possibility
SI: You said earlier that you are a coffee drinker. What’s your go-to coffee order?
page: Well, today I have a cappuccino, a macchiato, and an espresso. It depends on how much time I have. If I have more than five minutes, I’ll go get a cappuccino. If you want a 3 minute cup of coffee, choose a macchiato. If you basically have seconds, order an espresso and drink it in one shot. My go-to is like my morning cappuccino.
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