Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda felt happy after qualifying in Austria. They both managed to enter Q3, not without some weird problems to their AlphaTauri, though. 

The French driver qualified in P6, just behind the two Silver Arrows. Despite the good result, Gasly was a bit confused about some data collected by the team during the weekend. 

“I must say I’m always happy to be sixth,” Gasly said. “We qualify right behind the Mercedes. I think it was a very strong job, especially after practice, I didn’t feel so comfortable this weekend for some reason in the car. There were a couple of weird things we were seeing on the data and going into qualifying we had a bit more unknown than usual – that’s why I’m pleased.

“We still managed to make it work, and looking at the gaps it’s close. We’re only a tenth away from P3, which is good. So we need to keep pushing because there might be opportunities in the season, as [Lando] Norris showed today. It’s been a long time since we saw a midfield car in the second position. So that’s good.”

Gasly explained that he did not understand the way the car was behaving throughout the session. 

“More in terms of balance, a lot of differences which didn’t correlate with the setup we had. So we don’t have the answers. And that’s why going into qualifying, unfortunately, we didn’t have time to understand. We’ll have a look after the weekend if there was anything a bit funny.

“On my side, it does feel quite a lot different, which is odd. For Yuki [Tsunoda – teammate] it is still the same, and then we get quite opposite car balance. So that’s why it’s a bit strange. There must be a few things we will understand with a bit more time.”

Finally, the Frenchman also pointed out that it was not easy to adapt to the new compound of tires that are softer this weekend.

“Clearly with the C5 compound it’s different, the temperatures are a bit different, the wind was a bit inconsistent as well which made it difficult, but we still there still qualified P6, and that’s positive. Now we need to make sure we do more than one corner tomorrow.”

Yuki Tsunoda as well did not fully understand the behavior of the car. However, compared to Gasly, he admitted that he had some similar problems throughout the season so far. 

SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA – JULY 03: Yuki Tsunoda of Scuderia AlphaTauri and Japan during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Austria at Red Bull Ring on July 03, 2021 in Spielberg, Austria. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202107030418 // Usage for editorial use only //

“I was really happy because in FP3 we had opposite feedback and that makes the team a little bit confused because it was the complete opposite,” Tsunoda said. “For example in Turn 1 he [Gasly] had a lot of oversteers but I had a lot of understeers. I don’t know where that came from, and every single corner we had different issues which is a little bit unusual.

“We’ve had this a little bit from the beginning of the season, so for us, it’s not a surprise, but it’s one of the things to analyze to get more consistency from the car because consistency through the corners is really important for Formula 1 to build up the pace and try to carry speed a lot. So this is clear for the team, but I think it will be OK.”

To conclude, Tsunoda admitted being happy with the result achieved, which is P7, his best qualifying result this season. 

“I’m happy. I think the best qualifying so far, especially the progress through the sessions was good. Best qualifying so far and also the pace was there already from FP1 for the team, so just from my side, I put it all together. I’m happy with my lap as well, I couldn’t use a bit of slipstream and that cost us a little bit on the straight but I’m really happy with the lap time and will just aim for the points tomorrow.”

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