Pierre Gasly reveals what he’s been doing with Charles Leclerc as coronavirus delays F1

Pierre Gasly and Charles Leclerc have swapped steering wheels for game controllers with the start of the 2020 F1 season pushed back until June due to the coronavirus pandemic. AlphaTauri driver Gasly is out in Dubai as he waits out this year’s extended pre-season period.

The Frenchman, who finished seventh in the World Drivers’ Championship standings in 2019, is keeping himself busy while he’s out there.

Gasly has now lifted the lid on what he’s been up to in self isolation as the Covid-19 coronavirus continues to claim lives across the world.

Gasly told French newspaper L’Equipe: “Quarantine is less strict here than in Europe, but I have to stay at the hotel. I avoid the city and the pool and there is no risk whatsoever.

“I exercise for two hours a day. As a professional athlete I am allowed [into the gym], even though it is actually closed. That is a great privilege. I also run outside.

“I’ve never been in such good shape! I’ve never had so much time to work on it.”

Unlike his former Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen and McLaren’s Lando Norris, Gasly has not been taking part in esports races because he doesn’t have a simulator with him.

The 24-year-old has, though, managed to play some video games and has linked up with Ferrari’s Leclerc online.

“In France, I live with my parents and I don’t want to expose them to the risk even though they are young,” Gasly said.

“My partner is stuck in Bologna. It is really super difficult for everyone, they are all stuck at home. Fortunately there is Skype, FaceTime to stay in touch with my loved ones.

“I’ll stay here for at least two more weeks, or more if the situation calls for it. But I’m fine.

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“There is TV, Netflix and the console. I play football, basketball and Call of Duty online with Charles Leclerc. He’s in Monaco but together we formed a team.”

Gasly insists he’s not missing out, however, with simulator racing on platforms such as iRacing not as good as the real thing for improving performance.

When asked if using a home simulator is beneficial on the track, Gasly said: “Not at this level.

“There is a time when I will go back and do it too, but it doesn’t make any difference when we get back in the car.

“The [AlphaTauri] simulator is even closer to reality and that is where we have the most to learn as a driver.”

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