Gasly happy with ‘intense day’ to finish second fastest in Barcelona

by Vince Pettit
Pierre Gasly - AlphaTauri AT01

Scuderia AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly completed a total of 139 laps on day 5 of pre-season testing at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya ahead of the 2020 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season, setting the second fastest time of the day behind the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel.

It was a wet start to the day for competitors as they headed out on track for the penultimate day of testing.

With the weather delaying some of the programme, the Frenchman set about running through a race simulation.

“It was a pretty good and intense day,” explained Gasly. “The track was damp this morning which meant we had to do most of the work in the afternoon. We did over 100 laps after lunch which was great and managed to do a race simulation and push the car a bit more to see what we’ve got.”

Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd.

While it wasn’t an easy day for Gasly he was happy with how the day worked out and the performance of the AT01.

“Compared to last week, the conditions were slightly more difficult because of the wind which made the car challenging to drive at times. There are a couple of areas we need to improve on, but I can say it was a decent test for me.

“I know we have a bit more left in our pockets and I’m pretty pleased with the car, however, Melbourne is quite different from Barcelona, so even if I don’t want to get too excited, I’m pretty confident going to the first race.”

Rain delays play, but AlphaTauri complete race simulation

Technical director Jody Egginton explained that while the team couldn’t run through some parts of the planned programme, they managed to make up some ground in the afternoon.

“It was another busy day here in Barcelona, with Pierre in the car all day and a varied test programme for the team to get through,” said Egginton.

“The morning session was compromised by the damp track, meaning we were delayed in gathering the aero data. However, we covered several planned test items up until the lunch break and were able to recover some of the time lost.

“The focus of the afternoon switched to a mix of shorter and longer runs which provided a lot of useful data regarding the chassis and tyres. Daniil will be back in the car tomorrow, completing our 2020 winter test programme and our preparations for the first race of the season.”

Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd.

Honda F1 Techincal Director Toyoharu Tanabe was happy with how his engines were performing in the AT01 as he explained, “AlphaTauri got on with a race simulation programme, doing a lot of running with different fuel loads. It went well and Pierre was able to complete 139 laps.

“Red Bull was working on a different programme, with both its drivers in the car today, doing shorter runs, changing car settings frequently and we ran our PU accordingly, which allowed us to test it in various conditions. It will be important to have a productive final day tomorrow, before focussing on Melbourne and the first race of the year.”

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