Formula 1

Pierre Gasly: “There’s a big rush of adrenalin when you’re out there”

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Credit: Lars Baron/Getty Images

Pierre Gasly enjoyed his first taste of the Jeddah Corniche Circuit on Friday, with the Frenchman showing some good pace in both Free Practice sessions for Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda.

Gasly ended fourth fastest in the afternoon session in Saudi Arabia, while he was able to improve to third – ahead of championship leader Max Verstappen – under the floodlights in the evening session.

Heading into the rest of the weekend, Gasly admits there are things still to improve on, especially on the longer runs, but Friday’s running has given him confidence that AlphaTauri has some good pace on Formula 1’s first trip to Saudi Arabia.

“I really like driving this track, the corners are amazing and there’s a big rush of adrenalin when you’re out there,” said Gasly.  “The whole day has been really good for us and I’m pretty happy with the pace so far.

“We know that on Saturday we usually do quite well, so I’m fairly confident for tomorrow, as I think we can still improve.  I don’t feel quite as positive about the long runs though, so we still have some work to do to prepare for the race on Sunday.”

“I think the pace today has been quite good” – Yuki Tsunoda

Team-mate Yuki Tsunoda was equally happy with the performance of his AT-02, although he was unable to match Gasly when it came to lap time.

Tsunoda ended only fifteenth fastest in the afternoon session in Jeddah but broke into the top ten in the evening session, with the Japanese racer ending the day in eighth.

He says a lack of long runs will make the rest of the weekend tricky, but Tsunoda remains positive that he and AlphaTauri can have a strong weekend in Saudi Arabia.

“I’ve enjoyed today a lot as it’s a really fun track, especially the first sector, I’ve never driven a circuit with corners like this before, so it’s been pretty special,” said Tsunoda.  “I think the pace today has been quite good.

“The hard tyre already works well here and then I think we need to adapt the car a bit to the other compounds, so we’ve got some work to do. Overall, I think we’re looking quite strong so far.

“I didn’t manage to complete any long runs yet, but today’s performance makes me positive.”

Yuki Tsunoda broke into the top ten in the evening session in Saudi Arabia – Credit: Dan Mullan/Getty Images
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