Gasly quickly became Alpine’s number one target after Fernando Alonso announced his departure from Aston Martin and it became clear that Oscar Piastre would be joining McLaren.

Negotiations were complicated because Red Bull had to confirm Gasly’s replacement at AlphaTauri and because the drinks company had placed a hefty price tag on the French driver, who had a year left on his contract.

Gasly believes that Alpine is the perfect place for him as the team gathers momentum.

“The opportunity came up in the summer and we started having conversations about it,” he said.

“Obviously it’s a big step for me, I’ve been with Red Bull for nine years, pretty much my whole career with them.

“It definitely feels like closing a chapter and starting a new journey. I have to say it was a natural and very quick right decision.

“Just based on the stage of my career I’m at, based on Alpine’s ambitions, based on their progress over the last few years. Every season they get better and better, they have a strategy to fight at the front for the next 100 Grands Prix, and they are just going in the right direction.

“It’s also the right time for me to start on my own, to take this opportunity with a manufacturer. I definitely believe in this project and am very happy.”

Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri AT03

Photo: Red Bull Content Pool

Gasly said the key was that Alpine made it clear from the start that he was the number one choice and that Enstone’s outfit had to work so hard to get Red Bull to release him.

“That was definitely one of the most important, let’s say, criteria for me, which made it very clear to me that I had to go there, how strong their will was to get me out of Red Bull and put me in this car. .

“They made it clear straight away that they would have to work very hard in terms of negotiations, it was not going to be easy to get a deal done between all parties involved.

“And I just felt like right away they really pushed so hard to get me and they really believe in this project.”