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Formula 1 Emilia Romagna GP

Gasly: Upgrades will be ‘big test’ of AlphaTauri's F1 potential

Pierre Gasly thinks that the upgrades AlphaTauri is planning to bring for Formula 1's Emilia Romagna Grand Prix will be a big test of its prospects for this season.

Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri AT03, with technical equipment fitted

The Frenchman has scored points in two of the first three races of the campaign but is looking for more from his Faenza-based squad after its hugely encouraging 2021.

With teams now ready to unleash car developments that could shake up the order, Gasly thinks that the progress AlphaTauri makes with its own updates will offer a true indication of what its prospects are like for the rest of the season.

Gasly qualified fifth at Imola last season and knows that his team need to bring some improvements to its AT03 to help him get back to fighting at the front of the midfield battle.

“We should have a couple of new parts on the car and it's not like we are dead slow,” he said. “I don’t think we are missing much, but we need to come up with some development if we want to keep up with the other guys.

“So personally, I'm very excited to see what it brings. It's a new car, new regulations. We know that this season is all about development.

“The teams that manage to develop their cars faster than others will have a better season. I think it's a big test for us, and hopefully it brings the performance we expect.”

Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri

Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

While the start of F1’s European season is normally a logical place for teams to deliver a major upgrades push, this year there may be a split approach up and down the grid.

With Imola being a sprint race weekend, it means there is just one hour of free practice on Friday before the official qualifying session begins.

That means there is not much time to evaluate if new parts are working, which is why some teams, like Ferrari, are preferring to wait until later in the campaign – potentially next month’s Spanish GP – before introducing anything major.

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AlphaTauri is currently eighth in the championship standings, ahead of only Williams that scored a point in Australia and Aston Martin, which has not yet had a top ten finish in 2022.

Asked if, with teams like Alpine and Haas showing decent pace, he feared the season was going to be a difficult one, Gasly remained optimistic of there being potential to move forward.

“Obviously the car is going to develop over the next few weeks, but I trust the team and I trust the upgrades they are going to bring,” said Gasly.

“[Australia], compared to our main competitors, has been slightly harder as McLaren made a big step forward, and Alpine as well, but I think we can be pleased to have scored points.”

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