Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda enjoyed a day of positive running in the AT02 during the official FIA Formula 1 pre-season test at Bahrain International Circuit after a sandstorm hampered the afternoon session yesterday.
The main target of the day for the team was mileage, with the team hitting a collective of 1,380 kilometres and a total of 255 laps after two days of straight testing.
“I feel really good in the car, especially compared to this time last year, so it’s really positive for me.” – Pierre Gasly
Frenchman Gasly, posted the second fastest time during the afternoon stint, posting a time of 1:30.413s after covering 87 laps of the Bahrain Grand Prix circuit.
“It’s been another really positive day for me, with a lot of laps done this afternoon,” said Gasly. “We managed to complete all the high-fuel running that we wanted to at the start of the session and then some performance runs towards the end, with the softer compound.
“I feel really good in the car, especially compared to this time last year, so it’s really positive for me. There are obviously places we still need to improve upon, but I think we’re in a good place with one day left of running at this test.
“The Honda Power Unit is working really well so far and we haven’t had any reliability issues which is great – I’m excited to get it out on track for the race. With only three days of testing – split between two drivers – I knew it would be difficult but considering how many laps we’ve been able to complete so far I’m feeling quite comfortable with the car ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix.”
Pierre will run in tomorrow’s morning session, in the final day of pre-season testing.
“I think for me on the driving side things are definitely improving each time I go out.” – Yuki Tsunoda
Tsunoda posted the eleventh fastest time of the morning session, with a time of 1:32.684s, after putting in 57 timed laps over the session.
The Japanese rookie completed over 300 kilometres in the AT02 on multiple compounds, confident as each lap he had under his belt, the more comfortable he was in a Formula 1 car.
“I think for me on the driving side things are definitely improving each time I go out. The weather again today has been an issue, particularly with the changes in wind direction, so it’s definitely been a big learning curve.” Said Tsunoda. “I’m really starting to understand the car and how it reacts with different tyre compounds now – my performance isn’t perfect yet but I’m happy with how the test is going from my side.
“I’m also getting more confident in high speed corners, as I continue to understand the downforce levels of the car more with each run we do. It’s good learning for the team, and also for myself, so hopefully we can put it all together tomorrow.”
“I’m happy with the progress we’ve made today” – Jonathan Eddolls, Chief Race Engineer
Scuderia AlphaTauri’s Chief Race Engineer, Jonathan Eddolls, was pleased with the performances of both Gasly and Tsunoda during the second day of pre-season testing. He explained that the team knows areas to explore in tomorrow’s final day of testing after having a mix of performance and long runs.
“Overall, we had a very productive day of testing today and were able to recover the lost kilometres from yesterday afternoon,” said Eddolls. “Yuki was on duty in the morning session, which started with a very dusty track from the high overnight winds, but this didn’t impact the aero running we did with him during the first couple of hours.
“We then got into a block of mechanical setup items before closing the morning with his first experience of the new soft compound. He performed well and is in a good position for his last half day of testing tomorrow, before the first race.”
He continued: “We swapped to Pierre for the afternoon and had a mixed plan of long runs and performance runs, again trying to learn about the 2021 tyres and how best to optimise the car for them. We found some interesting directions to analyse tonight and then we can explore these tomorrow.
“I’m happy with the progress we’ve made today, as we’ve been able to complete our plan and cover 144 laps across the two drivers. We still have some work to do tomorrow but we’re on plan to complete all our testing items and be in a good shape ahead of the start of the season.”