After not being able to attack and gain a position inside the top ten during the Sprint Qualifying, Pierre Gasly said that he was frustrated to see that AlphaTauri did not have the pace they wanted.
The French driver qualified in P11 on Friday, and he finished in the same position after the Sprint Qualifying. Then, after the penalty given to George Russell, he gained one position. However, the pace was not very solid given that the team could not work much on the setup because of the new format.
“Honestly, I think it’s our worst performance of the year so far,” said Gasly to Motorsport.com. “And it’s very frustrating because I know the car has a lot more potential.
“All season we’ve been strong on pretty much every track. And this weekend, for whatever reason, we are just extremely slow, in the straights, in the high speeds, having a huge amount of understeer. And it’s just not working.
Gasly pointed out that the new format did not help AlphaTauri. The team was not happy with the setup after FP1, but they could not change as many things as they wanted since they did not have much data.
“We knew with one session of free practice you have a very small window to change the car. And we tried to make a lot of changes for qualifying, but you can’t go too extreme as well, because you can’t change after that. But we were slow yesterday, we had issues, and today we had the same issues.
“Today I could not even attack, I was just trying to stay on track for 17 laps, which is never what you want. I could not push, I could not brake, I could not follow closely.
Moreover, Gasly admitted that it is not going to be easy on Sunday. AlphaTauri will have to think about something different to score some points.
“And for tomorrow [Sunday], that’s the package we have. So we’ll have to do the best we can, study what we can do with tire degradation, try to be better, and try to play something with the strategy, and with the start. But I’m just disappointed, because I know we should do a lot better than that.”
Pierre also said that he had no explanation as to why the car was so slow on Friday.
“To be fair I don’t understand why. Because as I say all season, we have had many, many different tracks, many different conditions. And after the start of the year, I was confident okay, we should not have this kind of weekend.
“But now we’re just slow in the straight, which first of all doesn’t make sense, with what we see usually. We’re slow in the high-speed, which is not what we saw since the start of the year. So there is something that we missed.
“But after FP1 that’s the car you have, and you know, even this morning, we had these issues, we can’t fix them. And we’ll have to fight like this for tomorrow.”
To conclude, Gasly said that with three free practice sessions, the team would have had more time to work on the car and the setup, but he will express his opinion on the new format after the weekend is over.
“We’ll see after the weekend how it was like. Now I will not be objective about it.
“That’s probably the weekend where we started with the worst performance from FP1. And with three free practices, it would have given us more chance to react.
“But I’m not going to complain about this because we had the same amount of time to set our car and we just didn’t do a good enough job. So yeah, it probably didn’t help us. But that’s not an excuse.”