After a week to digest information on how the car performs, Friday has been an opportunity for AlphaTauri to smooth out any bumps in the car, and in Free Practice 2 focus on qualifying runs and see how the AT-02 fares over one lap.
Pierre Gasly feels that the first two sessions of the weekend have been positive, the French driver feeling happy with the car and suffering no issues throughout either session. On his attempted hot-lap in the evening session, Gasly feels that it wasn’t his greatest lap but despite this there are still plenty of positives to take away from the first day of the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend.
“I think it’s been a good start to the weekend – the car felt strong in both sessions and I’m happy with it. We didn’t quite put it together this evening, on our fast lap, but overall, I think there are a lot of positives to take-away from today and I’m excited now to see what we can do in qualifying tomorrow.”
On some long runs where drivers and teams can find out how the car behaves with a high fuel load, the car was again feeling good but Gasly doesn’t want to get ahead of himself as it is only practice.
“The long run with high fuel, that we completed in preparation for the race, felt strong so I think there are some good signs but it’s obviously only the first day, so we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves.”
The mechanics will be fine-tuning set-ups overnight with the drivers and the French driver feels that they should be in a good position for Qualifying tomorrow. Gasly is aiming for an appearance in Qualifying 3 which would put the team and him in a good position to fight for points on race-day.
“We’ll fine-tune everything tonight with the engineers and I think we’ll be in a good position for tomorrow. I hope that we can get into Q3 in qualifying – that’s our target – and if we manage that we should be in a position to fight for some good points come race day.”