AlphaTauri technical director Jody Egginton has described Formula 1 race winner Pierre Gasly as being "crucial" to the team's development across the season.
Over the winter, AlphaTauri replaced experienced driver Daniil Kvyat with rookie Yuki Tsunoda on the opposite side of the garage to Gasly.
Despite regulations remaining relatively stable from last year to this, several aerodynamic changes have had a dramatic effect on the handling of the cars with changes made to the floor creating the largest differences.
In recovering this lost performance, Egginton highlighted the importance of Gasly and his experience.
“He is crucial because he has got the reference to last year and this year’s car is an evolution of last year’s car," he said.
"So it is a key point that he knows how last year’s car performed as does his engineering crew. That helps Yuki, if he is struggling with something, he has a reference.
“Obviously, a lot of teams we’re racing have two experienced drivers so it is a different scenario for them but it is good what we have.
“Pierre is a solid reference back to last year, he’s able to tell us in detail what is better, what’s worse, what has changed and that combined with the correlation helps us answer some of the questions Yuki might have.
“We can tell him that is expected, that is not expected. We’re going to work on this, that’s the second order. It steadies the ship a little bit."
Whilst paying tribute to Gasly, Egginton also explained the positive impact of Tsunoda with the Japanese driver providing a fresh perspective on the AT02.
He added: “He is also raising some questions where that’s quite an interesting thought. The way he drives the car is a little bit different to Pierre so it’s a bit of a mix really.
“The key point is that he has got the speed to be able to contribute.”
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