Pierre Gasly felt Friday’s running at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari was one of the best Friday’s he’s had during his time racing with Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda, with the Frenchman ending inside the top four in both sessions.
The Frenchman, who was also quick when Formula 1 raced at Imola back in 2020, ended the morning session an impressive fourth fastest, only to go and beat that and place third in the afternoon’s running, just 0.078 seconds away from Valtteri Bottas’ session leading best.
Gasly said he felt good straight away when action got underway in the morning, and the hope now is the team can continue with their positive start and have a successful weekend at Imola.
“I think this has been one of our best Fridays as a team, P4 this morning and P3 this afternoon, and I was so close to the top guys,” said Gasly. “I’ve felt good in the car since the first lap and I managed to push pretty hard, as well as drive the way I wanted, so I think it’s been a successful day.
“We focused on short runs initially with the Softs, which looked strong pace wise and then completed some high-fuel laps in preparation for the race on Sunday. We’ve continued to work hard to improve against our main rivals in the midfield and I think, so far, we’ve shown that the pace is good.
“We’ll analyse the data that we’ve collected again tonight and hopefully we can find a little bit more again in Qualifying tomorrow.”
“I was able to build-up my pace in FP2 as I continued to push more” – Yuki Tsunoda
Team-mate Yuki Tsunoda ended the opening session at the bottom of the timesheets after a power unit issue restricted him to just eleven laps, but the Japanese runner responded in the afternoon and ended the day seventh fastest.
Tsunoda, racing in just his second event in Formula 1 since his promotion from FIA Formula 2, enjoyed his day at Imola and, like Gasly, hopes the team can find some more pace with the AT-02 overnight so they can be genuine contenders for the top ten in Qualifying and the race.
“I didn’t manage to complete many laps during FP1, due to an issue, and only managed four push laps in total but the car felt good whilst I was out,” said Tsunoda. “The team fixed the issue during the break and I was able to build-up my pace in FP2 as I continued to push more – hopefully I’ll be able to improve again in tomorrow’s practice session ahead of Qualifying.
“I’ve completed a lot of laps here pre-season, but I think I still managed to gain a lot from the sessions today. I particularly learnt about tyre management around this circuit and have a lot of interesting data from the Softs that I can now go and analyse.”