Scuderia Toro Rosso driver Pierre Gasly is hoping that taking downforce out of the car will help increase his chances of overtaking in today’s Brazilian Grand Prix.
The Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace is one of the shortest tracks on the calendar, and mixes long straights with a technical, tightly-packed infield. Gasly is hoping that, by running a car that’s faster in a straight line, he’ll be able to maximise his chances of overtaking on the straights, rather than running faster through the corners.
This strategy was at least partly related to the twenty-five place grid penalty that Gasly came into the weekend with, meaning that the team focused more on race simulations than qualifying pace.
Gasly qualified seventeenth, and was gifted an additional place by an uncharacteristic crash from Lewis Hamilton. Speaking on his qualifying performance, Gasly said, “I think today was pretty ok. Obviously it hasn’t been a perfect weekend for us but at least we had some proper running in FP2 and FP3.
“We knew at the beginning of the weekend we would start at the back of the grid, so we tried to mainly focus on race simulations. This morning I was pretty happy with the long runs even if we knew it wasn’t ideal for qualifying: in terms of downforce we put less than what we would have wanted to maximise our overtaking opportunities during the race. Hopefully it will pay off tomorrow.
“The track is so exciting! There’s so much rhythm in the second and third sectors… it’s really good to drive, but the most important thing is to be competitive tomorrow for the race, and hopefully have some good overtakes during the race.”