Jody Egginton, the Technical Director at Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda, was relatively pleased with the performance of the team during Saturday’s running at the Bahrain International Circuit, even if Yuki Tsunoda was not able to follow team-mate Pierre Gasly into the top ten in Qualifying.
AlphaTauri were forced to break curfew on Friday night to fix an issue with Tsunoda’s car, but the Japanese racer was able to return to the track for final practice, where both AT02’s showed good pace.
Gasly was able to make the medium tyre work to get through to Q3, where he will start fifth, but Tsunoda struggled on his final run on the same tyre and missed out on the top ten. The Japanese racer will start his debut Grand Prix from thirteenth.
Egginton says he has been pleased with Tsunoda’s performance throughout the weekend in Bahrain, and there is hope that AlphaTauri can break into the points with both cars on Sunday evening.
“We were fairly happy with the performance of both car’s this morning – having dealt with the problem on Yuki’s car overnight – and both drivers seemed happy with their cars during FP3,” said Egginton.
“Qualifying takes place during cooler track conditions here in Bahrain, but both cars performed well in Q1. Yuki and Pierre completed strong laps on the soft tyre, so we decided to optimise the race-start sets, by having both cars on to the medium compound for Q2.
“Pierre made that work – he was one of four drivers to get through to Q3 on the mediums – however, Yuki wasn’t able to extract the best from the tyre in the second session. He’s put in a really good performance already this weekend, so I’m really pleased with that.
“Pierre had two strong runs on the soft tyre in Q3 and is starting in a good place tomorrow to pick up some great points. I’m really looking forward to the race now.”