“A good step forward in terms of feeling and consistency” — Gasly more comfortable in the A524 after F1 Imola GP weekend

Photo Credit: BWT Alpine F1 Team
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Wrapping up the Imola GP weekend in P16 was the last thing Pierre Gasly wanted. On their last venture out in Miami, teammate Esteban Ocon scored Alpine’s first and only point of the season so far.

While Gasly would’ve wanted to build on that momentum, he admits their car is currently unable to do so on pure pace.

Speaking of the Sunday’s race, the 2020 Italian Grand Prix winner states he tried to do something different by starting on softs. The race, by and large, was a one-stopper — most of the drivers opting for a medium-hard or vice versa.

Gasly pitted twice which essentially pulled him out of contention for a point-scoring finish, even if the chances of doing so was pretty much zero anyway.

It’s something he wants to review as he had been close to Daniel Ricciardo before pitting. The Australian finished 22s ahead of him.

“Yeah, tough, I mean wanted to do something different but fortunately something different doesn’t mean that it’s something good.

“I think we just need to review exactly what we’ve done because some first stage of the race I’m right behind Danny Ric and not too far from Hülkenberg and then we finish miles off them.

“We just missed on a couple of things today which we need to review on how to anticipate a bit better next time.”

When asked whether he should’ve started on hards, Gasly ardently argues the beauty of hindsight.

He does confess that they need to recuperate and review whether they could have come up with a different and better strategy.

“But with hindsight you’re always smarter, it’s always easy to say that after the race but today was a better choice I think it’s just overall and just need to review we could have come up with a different plan or a different different info.”

The Alpine driver also quickly points out that they are still struggling for raw pace with the A524, and it forces their hand to go with an out-of-the-box strategy.

“We’re fighting with the car which at the moment doesn’t allow us to be on pure pace in the points. It forces us to try something a bit out of the box hoping that things happen — safety car (etc) and today was a very normal race.”

Despite leaving empty handed, the Frenchman claims he is still satisfied with the Imola weekend on a broader scale.

In Q1 on Saturday he put in a very strong lap and was 0.3s faster than teammate Ocon, placing P8. However, a mistake in Q2 at the end of the session left him down in P15.

“There are a few things we which we didn’t really anticipate and which cost us some quite a lot of time honestly the whole weekend until today I was really happy.

“I think there was definitely in terms of feeling and consistency a good step forward fortunately yesterday was just hide it with the fact that in that lap in Q2, I went off but apart from that from that lap all the the rest of the weekend was very strong compared to all the first weekend.

“I thought it was definitely positive.”

Coming back to the race, he comments on the DRS trains around Imola. Drivers were unable to overtake, unless there was a huge tyre differential or an ailing car on track, and he mentions how the car does naturally feel worse in dirty air.

Compared to Miami, however, it’s clear they were not as competitive in Italy.

“When you’re in a DRS train and you’re in the gearbox of everyone, it’s always gonna feel worse. It felt like today we made a small step backwards, but yeah it’s I think we need to review the big picture and consider everything.”

The 28-year-old also adds that if we take a look at the overall picture of the season so far, Alpine have undoubtedly taken — albeit gradually — steps forward.

“We know we are not in a strong position to score points we need certain circumstances to happen at the moment but overall I do feel we are making small steps forward.”