Formula 1

Pierre Gasly: “I had to really work as we made our way through Quali”

2 Mins read
Credit: Lars Baron/Getty Images

Pierre Gasly continued his excellent Qualifying form in 2021 as he took sixth on the grid for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, while Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda team-mate Yuki Tsunoda was eighth.

It was a strong session for the AlphaTauri duo, although Gasly admitted post-session that he was struggling with the balance of his car, which made the session at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit a bit harder than he was anticipating.

However, Gasly was pleased with the way he made it into the top ten shootout and with his final flying lap in Q3, and he feels sixth is a good position to start the first ever Grand Prix in Saudi Arabia on Sunday evening.

“It’s been fantastic again today with another top six Qualifying position,” said Gasly.  “This time it was a bit more difficult, I didn’t feel quite as confident in the car and I struggled with the balance throughout the session.

“I had to really work as we made our way through Quali, but I managed to put it altogether and I’m really pleased with my lap. I was only two-thousandths behind Sergio, which is nothing, so that’s a bit frustrating but at the end of the day it’s still a great starting position for tomorrow to score points.”

“I’ve got some mixed feelings about today” – Yuki Tsunoda

Team-mate Tsunoda will start directly behind Gasly on the grid in eighth, but the Japanese racer felt he had it in him to be even faster than his final flying lap showed after encountering traffic.

Tsunoda will, like Gasly, start the race on the medium Pirelli tyre, which he felt was a big positive for him, but he believes he could have been higher up the grid, particularly as his lap in Q2 on the mediums was faster than what he achieved on the softs in Q3.

“I’ve got some mixed feelings about today,” said Tsunoda.  “I think my performance in Q1 and Q2 was great and I’m really pleased with that, but unfortunately on my final lap in Q3 I had traffic and I lost a lot of time.

“I think I could’ve been starting further up the grid tomorrow, so it’s frustrating right now. There are lots of positives to take away today though, particularly the fact that I made it through Q2 on the Mediums, so I’ll be starting on the same tyre as everyone else around me tomorrow.

“It’s a really great track to drive, so I’m looking forward to the race and hopefully we can come away with points.”

Yuki Tsunoda will start eighth but feels he could have been higher up the grid but for traffic – Credit: Lars Baron/Getty Images
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Thirty-something motorsport fanatic, covering Formula 1, Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula 3. Feel free to give him a follow on Twitter at @Paul11MSport.
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