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Gasly: Alpine F1 car weight issue is not that bad

Pierre Gasly has downplayed weight issues with the Alpine A524 and said it’s not as big a handicap as speculation in the Formula 1 paddock has suggested.

Pierre Gasly, Alpine A524

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

After a disappointing Bahrain test, fears that the team could have the slowest car in the 2024 field were realised in qualifying, as Pierre Gasly earned 20th and last position, a spot behind his team-mate Esteban Ocon.

The weight of the car became a talking point in testing, with some observers – including former Team Enstone driver and commentator Jolyon Palmer – suggesting that the new car may be as much as 11kg over the limit, with an obvious direct impact on lap time.

However, when asked by Autosport if that was a realistic number, Gasly insisted the situation wasn’t as dire: “It's not as much. It's not as bad as you mentioned. So there is obviously lap time to find a bit everywhere. And looking at the gaps, there is some work to do.

“Everything matters, and what you said, two kilos of lap time equals six hundredths, and six hundredths will make a difference.

“There is some weight to be [lost], there's some performance to come on the chassis, there will be upgrades. It's not the position we want to be in, but we're all on the same boat, and we'll try to get the best out of it every single time.”

Gasly stressed that the team knows where the weaknesses in the package are.

“I think it's very, very clear where we've got to make the improvement,” he said. “Unfortunately, it doesn't come as a surprise to us that we are lacking performance. And then for the time being, we have got to make the best with what we've got.

Pierre Gasly, Alpine F1 Team

Pierre Gasly, Alpine F1 Team

Photo by: Erik Junius

“We know we have to improve in many areas. I think we know we have solutions that are going to come at some points on the new car.

“But we're not starting from where we would have liked. I see a lot of positive things going on inside the team – mechanics, engineering going on at the factory.

“It doesn't translate onto the track for now, but I know, medium to long term, it will. It's all about trying to maximise what we got, which we didn't do to be fair in that last run of Q1, so there are a few things we’ve got to do better. And then we'll keep working, but it's not going to be an easy start of the year.”

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Gasly highlighted a specific issue with the front end of the car that is making his life difficult: “At the minute I just want to get the front that I need in the car, and get the rotation that I want. And honestly, when you're slow, generally it never feels really great.

“I've been experimenting every single session at the minute, trying to find if there is a magic trick that unlocks some potential. For now, I haven't found it. 

“But I know the upgrades will bring the balance a bit more together, and also a bit more in the direction that I want. So there will be progress.”

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