Pierre Gasly felt it was a shame to fall at the first hurdle in Qualifying for the German Grand Prix on Saturday, with the rain he was hoping for not coming.
The Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda driver found himself on the wrong side of the cut off mark in Q1 at the Hockenheimring, finishing seventeenth fastest, but he admitted that the team at this point of the season has fallen behind many of their rivals who have out-developed them.
Gasly knows the team are working hard to improve the STR13 but it means that both he and team-mate Brendon Hartley, who qualified behind the Frenchman in eighteenth, are struggling for pace.
“It’s such a shame to go out in qualifying so early,” said Gasly, who will move up one spot on the grid when Daniel Ricciardo takes his grid penalty. “We hoped we would see some rain for the session but it didn’t happen unfortunately.
“It’s pretty difficult for us at the moment because the other teams are improving and we haven’t made the step forward we would have liked, so we need to work hard to catch the others. I know the team is working flat out, but we are still struggling with pace.”
Gasly admitted it was always going to be tough to get out of the first segment of Qualifying but feels Toro Rosso should be more competitive in race conditions, with points not out of the question if they can get their strategy right.
“I knew it wouldn’t have been easy to make it to Q2 today, and in the end we missed it by just four-hundredths of a second,” said Gasly. “However, considering our times yesterday, our race pace looks competitive, so hopefully tonight we can find a good strategy for tomorrow.
“Everything’s possible – of course we will need some lucky happenings to make our way through the pack, but we will give it our everything to recover as many positions as we can.”