Pierre Gasly must be wondering what could’ve been, after finishing eleventh at the Qatar Grand Prix despite starting the race from second on the grid at the Losail International Circuit. Team-mate Yuki Tsunoda struggled just as much in the race and finished thirteenth.
It could’ve been a special day for Gasly but instead it turned into a nightmare, the Frenchman who started from second after Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas were awarded grid penalties, had a shocking race. Gasly struggled with pace from the get-go, and quickly tumbled down the order. Gasly’s pace was a huge surprise, after looking quick throughout practice and qualifying.
Gasly left the circuit frustrated after what could’ve been an excellent day for himself and the team.
“It’s a really frustrating day. Both Yuki and myself started in the top 10, but went massively backwards during the race. I was giving everything I had inside the car today, but we were just too slow. Even at the start I wasn’t able to stick with Alonso, so we tried to go for an aggressive two stop strategy, but the pace just wasn’t there.
“It didn’t work today, which is really disappointing. After the incident yesterday we changed some parts on the car, I don’t know if these could have impacted our race pace today, but we’ll have to go away and review everything, as I just can’t explain it right now.”
“We really weren’t expecting that” – Yuki Tsunoda
Yuki Tsunoda had an equally disappointing race, the rookie finished thirteenth at the Qatar Grand Prix despite starting the race from eighth. Just like his team-mate Tsunoda appeared to struggle for pace which was another surprise considering that the Japanese driver was having a strong weekend.
Tsunoda found the race challenging and believed that he particularly struggled on the soft tyre.
“That was a particularly tough race, I struggled a lot on the soft tyre, especially in the first stint. We really weren’t expecting that, as overall this week we’ve had really good pace, but today in the race it dropped off, so we’ve got to look at the data and figure out why that was. It’s a real shame, as Alpine had a very good race today, so we need a strong comeback for the last two races.”