Despite finishing inside the top ten in both Friday practice sessions, Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda’s Pierre Gasly felt there is more to come from both himself and his AT-02 this weekend at Intercity Istanbul Park.
The Frenchman, who has failed to score points in either of the past two Grand Prix, was eighth fastest in the morning session and ninth in the afternoon, and he was the busiest driver across the two sessions, completing sixty-two laps. He suffered a spin at turn six during the afternoon’s running but was able to keep the car out of the gravel trap.
But despite being inside the top ten in both sessions, Gasly was far from happy with the set-up of his car, and he hopes for a better balance and an improved pace when Saturday’s running gets underway.
“Today I haven’t felt that great in the car, but we’ve still come away with two strong positions which is positive, and I believe there is more we can give again tomorrow,” said Gasly.
“I wasn’t too happy with the balance of the car, as I was experiencing a lot of understeer, so that’s something we’ve got to work on.
“I believe it’s something that a lot of drivers have been experiencing, so we need to go away and analyse what we can do to improve this and hopefully we can continue to improve our performance in FP3.”
“I’ve been building my confidence up gradually” – Yuki Tsunoda
Team-mate Yuki Tsunoda was experiencing the Istanbul Park track for the first time on Friday, but the Japanese race was amazed by the track and was quietly impressive, especially in the afternoon session.
Tsunoda was only eighteenth fastest in the morning, ahead only of the two Uralkali Haas F1 Team drivers, but he was a much-improved eleventh in the afternoon, only missing out on the top ten by the narrowest of margins to Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN’s Antonio Giovinazzi.
He also hopes the team can find further improvements overnight so he can be a contender for the top ten places on the grid during Saturday’s Qualifying session, come rain or shine.
“I think this is a really amazing track and I’ve really enjoyed my first two sessions here at Istanbul Park,” said Tsunoda. “I’ve been building my confidence up gradually and this afternoon I think we’ve shown some good pace.
“The conditions today have been windy but fairly good, however tomorrow there may be rain, so this could prove trickier again.
“We’ll have to see what happens with the weather, and prepare as much as we can for that, but we’re happy with the performance of the car so far this weekend and I think we’ve shown a big improvement.”