Pierre Gasly expressed sadness to see Antonio Giovinazzi depart the Formula 1 paddock following the 2021 season.
After three seasons with the Alfa Romeo team, Giovinazzi lost his spot for 2022 to Chinese racer Guanyu Zhou, who will graduate from Formula 2 having finished P3 in the final standings.
Giovinazzi’s seat was the final one up for grabs, and so his 2022 focus will be on Formula E, signing up for the Dragon/Penske Autosport team, while serving as a reserve driver for Alfa Romeo and Ferrari in F1 next season.
The Italian racer harbours hopes of returning to the Formula 1 grid from 2023.
Gasly then will be hoping that it is only goodbye for now to Giovinazzi, explaining that it was “really sad” to see him bow out of the series.
Answering fan questions via video, Gasly said: “Antonio Giovinazzi, I’m actually really sad to see him leaving the paddock because he’s a very good guy and just a very nice person.”
While Gasly says that he has a positive relationship with everyone, he identified Giovinazzi, alongside Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and AlphaTauri team-mate Yuki Tsunoda, as his three strongest Formula 1 relationships.
“Charles clearly is my best friend in the paddock,” said Gasly.
“Yuki – after this season, you know, spending a lot of time together, I do have a very good relationship with him.
“I get on pretty much with everyone, but I would say these three are obviously the closest.”
2022 has the potential to be a huge season in the Formula 1 career of Gasly, with the Frenchman delivering his best campaign to date in 2021 as he broke the 100-point barrier for the first time.
Finishing the season P9 in the Drivers’ Championship on 110 points, Gasly spearheaded AlphaTauri’s run to P6 in the Constructors’, where they ultimately finished only 13 points down on Alpine.
Nonetheless, the team’s haul of 142 points eclipsed their previous best efforts under both the AlphaTauri name and their former identity of Toro Rosso.
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