Gasly expects normal service to resume for AlphaTauri in Spain

Pierre Gasly expects his AlphaTauri Formula 1 team to bounce back at this weekend’s Spanish GP after a difficult weekend in Portugal.

Gasly expects normal service to resume for AlphaTauri in Spain

The Frenchman qualified fifth for the first two races in Bahrain and Imola, but had to settle for ninth on the grid in Portimao. In the race he lost a position, eventually claiming the final point with 10th place.

Gasly stressed that the Italian outfit knew that the many slow corners at the Algarve circuit would not favour its car.

“Well I would say it was the race we kind of expected,” he said when asked by Autosport.

“We finished pretty much where we expected – slightly better because I managed to pass Carlos [Sainz] in the end and get a point. So obviously it’s not much, but clearly the maximum we could expect from this weekend.

“It has been a hard one, we struggled quite a lot on this track with all the low-speed corners and it’s an area we knew we had to improve already since the winter test.

“And now we have the proof that we are struggling compared to our main competitors, and at least it gives us a clear direction of development.”

Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri

Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

Gasly expects the AT02 to be more competitive in Barcelona, where the layout plays to the car’s strengths.

“Yeah I think so,” he said. “I think I’m confident we’re going to have slightly more pace than what we showed this weekend.

“It’s a lot more high-speed corners and medium-speed corners, but we’ll still have the last sector, which is quite tricky. But here [Portimao] you have a lot of corners in second and third gear, which is not our favourite, especially compared to Alpine, Ferrari and McLaren. So I think we should pick up a bit more pace next weekend.”

Gasly also acknowledged that close rival Alpine also demonstrated superior straightline performance in Portugal.

“It seems to me like today the Alpine was a bit like the Ducati in MotoGP for some reason – they were extremely fast in the straights, and they’re passing halfway through the straights.

Read Also:

“There are a couple of cars with a lot of straight line speed. I think last year on this track I remember there was quite a lot of overtaking as well, so Barcelona will be a lot more difficult, as we know, so I think it’s kind of similar. The midfield is quite tight, and that’s why we see some good battles, I guess.”

Gasly agreed that the slow corner performance is a particular concern for Monaco, the race after Spain.

“Obviously it is, it’s clearly one area where we’ve got to improve, and Monaco is coming pretty quickly, so I don’t think we’re going to have any major improvements or upgrades on the car for these tracks.

“So that’s the package we have, we need to find a way if we can change a bit the set up for this kind of conditions and corners, clearly there will be some work to do for these tracks.”

Expanding on the difference between the AT02 and last year’s AlphaTauri he added: “There is just slightly less grip so you’re sliding a bit more, you can’t carry the brakes into the corner as hard otherwise you’re locking.

“You can’t carry as much speed, otherwise the front is not holding, and the traction is slightly more tricky.

“We are not talking about much, but it’s a bit there and there. And then at the end of the lap you’re losing two or three tenths, and then at the end of 67 laps it’s 15 seconds, and that’s what we’ve got to find.”

shares
comments
Alonso feels too much being made of early results of F1 drivers at new teams

Previous article

Alonso feels too much being made of early results of F1 drivers at new teams

Next article

Can F1’s standout performer of 2021 keep up his charge?

Can F1’s standout performer of 2021 keep up his charge?
Load comments
Hamilton at 100 wins: In his adversaries’ words Plus

Hamilton at 100 wins: In his adversaries’ words

Some 18 drivers have finished runner-up to Lewis Hamilton on his way to 100 wins. Three of those recall their battles with Formula 1’s centurion and give their personal insights into the seven-time world champion on his rise to unchartered territory

Russian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Russian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 Russian GP was decided by late-arriving rain that allowed some to climb and caused others to plummet. But the events which played out beforehand are equally significant when considering the all-important driver ratings

How Mercedes made the “blind faith” call that won Hamilton his 100 milestone at Sochi Plus

How Mercedes made the “blind faith” call that won Hamilton his 100 milestone at Sochi

Until rain turned the Russian Grand Prix on its head in the closing stages, Lando Norris was set to convert his first Formula 1 pole position into a maiden win. But having recovered well from being shuffled back at the start, Hamilton and his Mercedes team called the changing conditions spot-on for a landmark 100th F1 victory

Why momentum is again behind Australia’s aces Plus

Why momentum is again behind Australia’s aces

At the Italian Grand Prix Daniel Ricciardo turned around a troubled F1 season and, in F2, Oscar Piastri demonstrated once again that he is a potential star of the future. BEN EDWARDS weighs up the prospects of F1 having two Australian stars

Formula 1
Sep 26, 2021
The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers Plus

The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers

Michael Schumacher is the latest sporting superstar to get the ‘Netflix treatment’, with a special documentary film airing on the US streaming giant’s platform this month. DAMIEN SMITH has the inside track on how the filmmakers gained access to tell the human story behind one of Formula 1’s most publicity-shy champions - while the man himself, for obvious reasons, is in absentia… 

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2021
The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery Plus

The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery

For the second race in a row, Mercedes has ended the first day of track action on top. It’s in a commanding position at the Russian Grand Prix once again – this time largely thanks to Max Verstappen’s upcoming engine-change grid penalty. But there’s plenty to suggest all hope is not lost for the championship leader at Sochi

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2021
The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1 Plus

The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2021
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Plus

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. DAMIEN SMITH brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021