Formula 1

“I’m not 100% comfortable with the balance” – Pierre Gasly

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Credit: Bryn Lennon/ Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Pierre Gasly had an almost perfect opening day at the Russian Grand Prix, the Frenchman ended the day in an incredible third place but didn’t get to run his Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda in the closing minutes.

Gasly has well and truly put the disappointment of Monza behind him, the AlphaTauri driver was sixth after Free Practice One and then a mighty third come the end of Free Practice Two. The Frenchman clearly has strong pace this weekend at the Sochi Autodrom, and with Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen starting at the back of the grid due to engine penalties, a podium could potentially be on the cards.

The day didn’t end as planned though for Gasly, the Frenchman sat out the closing minutes after hitting the sausage kerb on the exit of turn two, destroying his front wing in the process. All in all a very positive opening day for Gasly who is aware that there is a big opportunity this weekend for strong points.

“It’s been a positive day in terms of performance, this car seems to be working well here so far and it’s a good start going into the weekend. Whilst the performance is there, I’m not 100% comfortable with the balance inside the car yet so we’ve got a few things that we can take away and improve tonight.

“We know both Charles and Max are taking penalties for the race, so there are definitely some opportunities for us this weekend. Our main focus though is on our own package and maximising what we can do to help in our tight midfield battle.”

“I’ve managed to gain important mileage” – Yuki Tsunoda

Rookie Yuki Tsunoda had a much tougher time on the opening day, despite being full of confidence going into the weekend. The Japanese driver was eighteenth at the end of Friday, after finishing a slightly higher sixteenth in the morning session in Sochi.

Tsunoda complained of struggling with grip at the Russian circuit but did manage to complete a strong haul of laps, building his confidence with the car at the venue. The last thing Tsunoda needs is rain but unfortunately for him there appears to be a large amount of it heading the circuit’s way.

The rookie knows the car has the performance but with the uncertainty of the weather he just wants to be as prepared as possible.

“I’ve struggled with the general grip here so far in Sochi, but I’ve managed to gain important mileage in the car today, particularly for Sunday, as we think the race may be sunny. We know the performance is there in the car so I just need to go away tonight, look at the data and see how I can improve for tomorrow. We don’t know what’s going to happen with the weather, so we just need to be as prepared as possible going into FP3 and Qualifying.”

Credit: Mark Thompson/ Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool
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