After a fairy-tale weekend last time out in Monza, it’s back to reality for Pierre Gasly who only managed to qualify a measly sixteenth for tomorrow’s Tuscan Grand Prix.
The Frenchman experienced the highest thrills imaginable at last week’s Italian Grand Prix, taking an unlikely victory after a scintillating race of attrition left him in the lead on lap twenty-nine. Even with McLaren F1 Team’s Carlos Sainz hot on his tail for the remainder of the race, Gasly kept a strikingly cool head- taking the checkered flag as the victor and becoming the sport’s first French winner since Olivier Panis in 1996.
This week, however, it’s an unfortunate return to the back of the grid for Pierre; he qualified a lowly sixteenth after ‘running out of energy’ during his flying lap.
“Today was frustrating as everything was going so well all weekend. The car was good in free practice, and in Quali we pushed the engine a bit more and in my two laps before the finish line, I ran out of energy which cost us more than a tenth.“
Gasly believes that, if it weren’t for his energy-saving mistake, he would have made it into the second part of Qualifying, but he still remains adamant his goal is for a points finish in tomorrow’s inaugural race at Mugello.
“Looking at the gap, we were only missing half a tenth to Q2. It’s clearly not good on such a track to qualify so far behind and it’s a shame because everything before that went great. We just didn’t manage to put things together in Quali and we made small mistakes in the worst possible moment.
“We need to find a way to recover as we know we are faster than this, so we’ll try to make our way back into the points tomorrow.”
A ‘solid day’ for Daniil Kvyat
After some tricky Qualifying sessions at previous grands prix, Daniil Kvyat is happy to finally outqualify his team-mate this time out in Tuscany.
The Russian was audibly dejected after last week; it was all too clear he understood what Gasly’s victory meant for his Formula 1 career. Whilst Pierre flies high in eighth in the championship, Kvyat has been lingering in fifteenth- and it’s evidently not something he’s happy about.
Pushing his AT-01 as hard as he could, Kvyat wrestled his way up to twelfth and was relatively content with his result- citing that today’s performance was ‘a step forward’.
“I had a solid day today as I felt more comfortable with the car in qualifying than in other sessions. My engineers did a good job trying to make the car suit my driving better because yesterday I wasn’t very happy, but today we definitely made a step forward.”
“However, we were missing a couple of tenths, so in the last run since there wasn’t much to lose, I tried to take Turn 7 flat; you try to find time anywhere you can.”
The Russian driver is hoping for some drama in the race tomorrow which could elevate him up the grid, and judging by the dangerously high-speed nature of the new track, Kvyat is probably on the right lines.
“We start from twelfth place tomorrow and you can fight from there, the race is new for everyone, so it will be important to capitalize on anything that might happen.”