Pierre Gasly says it was pleasing that Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda have appeared to put their disappointing Silverstone weekend behind them after finishing inside the top six in both free practice sessions at the Hungaroring on Friday.
The Frenchman failed to score a point in the British Grand Prix two weeks ago after a problematic weekend, but the pace Gasly has shown for much of the season in 2021 appeared to return on Friday in practice for the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Gasly says the Alpine F1 Team appear to have good pace this weekend, so he knows the team will need to extract everything they can from the AT-02 across the rest of the weekend to beat them in Qualifying and the race.
“I’m very pleased with today, particularly after Silverstone where we struggled a bit,” said Gasly. “It’s good to see that we’ve got the performance back again.
“The car felt good even in these really hot conditions, so we’ll see how we do tomorrow. The Alpine car is looking very fast this weekend so we’ll have to work hard tonight to try and get them in Qualifying.
“I think it might rain overnight, and also in the morning, so we may have different track conditions tomorrow. The pace of the car seems to be good though, so we can go into tomorrow with confidence.”
“I’m really disappointed with today” – Yuki Tsunoda
As much as Gasly was impressive, it was a poor day on the other side of the garage for Yuki Tsunoda, with a crash at turn four in first practice causing a red flag, with the damage restricting him to just a handful of laps in second practice as a result.
Tsunoda completed eighteen laps in the morning session and was fast enough to place twelfth, but with his mechanics working hard to repair the damage to his car after his crash, he only joined the circuit in the final five minutes and was able to complete only one run to place seventeenth.
“I’m really disappointed with today, I made a mistake in FP1 and it meant that I’ve lost more than a session’s worth of running,” said Tsunoda. “The rear of the car felt very nervous, especially in high-speed corners, and I was losing a lot of time there compared to Pierre.
“I was trying to improve in those areas, but I lost control of the car and I went into the wall. Unfortunately, the gearbox was damaged, and the team had to work really hard to get my car ready for the afternoon.
“The mechanics did a really good job getting the car fixed before the end of the session, so I was able to get one push lap in during FP2. It was really helpful for both the engineers and I to get this, so we can review the data tonight.”