Pierre Gasly seemed to be flying in FP1 after finishing 2nd overall. The Frenchman was looking forward to getting more out of his AlphaTauri in FP2. However, issues with his power unit stopped him from doing so.
Gasly had a strong showing at FP1 and finished ahead of Hamilton by 0.166 seconds. Unfortunate for him, Honda detected some problems in his power unit, preventing him from taking part in FP2.
Gasly was extremely disappointed: “Yes this morning was great with the pace, performance, the car. But unfortunately, the guys spotted an issue on the PU so they didn’t want to take any risk for this afternoon; they wanted to check it first before [we] put any more mileage. It’s not ideal. We know it’s not ideal but in the end, there’s nothing else we can do, so it’s a big shame but hopefully, it doesn’t impact us for the rest of the weekend.”
His teammate Yuki Tsunoda, who finished FP1 0.231 seconds behind his teammate, also had a disappointing FP2, finishing down at 15th. He explained that in his final push lap he was gaining significantly on his previous time, however, his engine forced went into neutral, significantly compromising his lap.
“The soft [tire] push lap, I got force neutral at the end of the lap. Until then I was gaining quite a lot compared to the previous lap and… I lost quite a lot there and that was my best lap. It was not ideal.”
“I’m not following too much the lap time… I’m struggling more in the long runs like Paul Ricard, it’s quite a similar issue as Paul Ricard. We have to find out that issue. For me, short-run performance, we can see from FP1 that the pace is there already – we need that last bit of fine-tuning. Long run [pace] I don’t know, there are a lot of things to do.”
Gasly, as AlphaTauri’s lead driver, was expecting to extract more from FP2.
“I was really confident and there were a couple of things that we wanted to try this afternoon. It was tricky, because also Yuki didn’t feel as good, and the performance wasn’t as good compared to FP1 for him. Some question marks, but hopefully we can check everything tomorrow morning and go into qualifying confident.”