Sakhir Grand Prix – Alpha Tauri’s Pierre Gasly says he could have achieved more in qualifying, had he not picked up floor damage during the session.
Pierre Gasly will line up in P9 for Sunday’s race in Bahrain, a relatively disappointed position for the French driver after fighting closer to the front through practice and the early stages of qualifying.
Gasly tried to get through Q1 on the Mediums, but wasn’t happy with his lap and swapped to the Softs to ensure progression. He made it through Q2 on the softs. Despite only being 0.294 slower than fastest man Max Verstappen in that session, Gasly was only in P10 and only made it into Q3 by half a tenth.
Heading out for Q3, Gasly ended up in P9 and admitted to having found qualifying ‘difficult’. He says he only barely managed to scrape into Q3: “It was a difficult Quali for us today. In Q1 we damaged the floor and from then it was just a messy session. We only just made it into Q3, but it was very difficult because I struggled with the front and had a lot of understeer everywhere.”
Gasly said that P9 was really the best he could have hoped for under the circumstances: “After what we showed in FP3, it’s a bit disappointing to only be P9 in the end. We showed strong pace all weekend but considering all the damages to the car, I don’t think there was much more we could do today. Overall, I think we have a good package, I’m a bit more worried about not breaking other parts on the car tomorrow as the track is quite aggressive, but as for the rest I’m quite confident that we can have a strong race.”
Gasly goes into the second Bahrain race on the back of a strong P6 finish last time out on the full layout last weekend, having had his last few laps made easier by the appearance of a Safety Car which prevented him from losing positions in the closing stages.