It was a mostly positive Thursday for the Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda Team at the Monaco Grand Prix, the only exception being Yuki Tsunoda ending his day early after a collision with the famous Monte-Carlo walls.
For Frenchman Pierre Gasly there was no such trouble, it was a brilliant opening day by the Frenchman finishing comfortably inside the top ten in both free practice one and free practice two, finishing fourth and then seventh respectively.
Gasly has put himself in a strong position going into final free practice session and qualifying on Saturday, where making final qualifying will be absolutely essential for a points finish on Sunday. Gasly is more than aware of the significance of qualifying well at Monaco, with overtaking being near-impossible.
“It’s been a very good day for us. In terms of pace it was great and this morning was a strong way to start here in Monaco – I felt confident in the car and could push hard. This afternoon we finished within the top ten, so we’re still pretty pleased with that, but it was a lot harder in the car. Hopefully I can work with the guys over the next day to improve in the areas where we are struggling but generally, we are quite happy with it.”
“Monaco is so unique – in terms of grip and it’s also very bumpy – so we need to find out what works best with our package to make it work well around here. We have a good baseline but hopefully we can continue to improve ahead of Qualifying, as we know how crucial it is to Qualify well around these streets.”
“Obviously a loss of running isn’t ideal” – Tsunoda
For rookie Yuki Tsunoda Thursday actually began in impressive style. The Japanese driver experiencing Monaco for the first time in a Formula One car, was an incredible ninth position after free practice one. However trouble arose for the energetic driver early on in free practice two as he collided heavily with the wall, bringing an early end to his day.
Tsunoda will be under pressure now to make up for lost time on Saturday, as he heads into the most important qualifying session of the season.
“Sadly, my second session ended early today – I wasn’t pushing too hard into the corner, but I lost grip at the end of the turn and unfortunately tapped the wall. I’m not sure how much this will affect my preparation for the race, obviously a loss of running isn’t ideal, but I’ve got two sets of Softs for Saturday now so it’s not the worst case. I just need to prepare more for Saturday and put it altogether when it counts.”