Pierre Gasly salvaged points in Sunday’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, but the Frenchman says his Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda team need to put together a complete weekend if they are to maximise the potential of the AT-02.
Gasly qualified an excellent fifth on Saturday at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari but took the decision to start the race on the full wet tyre, a decision that would soon prove to be the incorrect call as he dropped down the order.
He was running towards the back of the pack for most of the day but recovered superbly after the red flag and safety car period following the George Russell and Valtteri Bottas crash to finish on the road in eighth, which became seventh when Lance Stroll took a time penalty.
“For sure, it’s been a rollercoaster of a day – we started from P5 but we made a different call with tyres at the start of the race and quickly ended up at the back,” said Gasly. “Obviously, I was very disappointed, but from there we kept fighting and after the red flag we managed to make our way forward again to cross the finish line in eighth position.
“Following the race, I’ve moved up into P7 and I’m pretty pleased with that as a finishing position – we managed to recover some crucial points for the team, which is really positive.
“We showed the potential of the car on Saturday and next time out we just need to put it all together across the whole weekend.”
“I’ll take this experience with me to the next race” – Yuki Tsunoda
Team-mate Yuki Tsunoda had a mixed day at Imola, with the Japanese racer missing out on the points by finishing twelfth after a spin sent him to the back of the pack late in the day.
Tsunoda started at the back of the grid after crashing during Qualifying but was on course for a top ten finish only for him to spin just after the restart after the red flag that ended his chance of scoring points for a second consecutive race.
It was the Japanese racers first time driving a Formula 1 car in the wet, and he said it took some time for him to learn how to adapt his driving style to suit the conditions.
“I think it was a fantastic race for the viewers at home but I’m very disappointed with myself and I just want to say sorry to the team,” said Tsunoda. “It’s a real shame that I spun after the red flag, up until that point I think the race was going pretty well and the pace was really good.
“This was the first time I’ve been in a Formula 1 car in the wet and I learnt you have to be so careful, especially with acceleration. Starting on the intermediate tyre during the rainy conditions made it even more difficult but it was a great opportunity for me to understand more how the compounds work in different conditions.
“I think points could have been on the table for me here today but it’s all a learning curve and I’ll take this experience with me to the next race.”