Pierre Gasly goes into this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix, on the back of a good weekend in Saudi Arabia after coming away with his first points of the 2022 season.
After retiring in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia went much smoother for the Frenchman who not only made it to Qualifying 3 for the second-time this season, but also brought home a points finish.
Looking ahead to this weekend’s returning Australian Grand Prix, Gasly is excited to be heading back to the Albert Park Circuit, a track which he enjoys. The Frenchman is also intrigued to see whether the circuit’s changes will have any effect on the quality of the racing.
“The Albert Park track layout in Melbourne has been changed significantly and very few corners are the same as before, so it will be slightly new for everyone. It seems much faster than before because of the many corners that have been widened and opened up so there are more straight sections. We will need a car that works efficiently and is quick down the straights but still keeps enough downforce for the corners.
“Personally, I’m really happy to be racing here again. The last time I was there was 2020, when it was the first race to be cancelled because of Covid, so we haven’t raced in Melbourne since 2019. It’s a track I like a lot and the same goes for the country. The only downside is having to spend 48 hours in a plane in the space of a week! It’s incredible to be going back there. I’m looking forward to it.”
“I will take my usual approach with a new circuit” – Yuki Tsunoda
Saudi Arabia was possibly the worst weekend in Yuki Tsunoda’s career, after reliability issues saw him fail to take part in either Qualifying or the Race remarkably.
This weekend can’t really go any worse for the young Japanese driver, who after the opening rounds to the championship has already found out how much easier it is to follow one-another this season. This will be a key feature this weekend where a staggering four DRS zones will be in use.
“After two race weekends, we are beginning to see the effect of the new Technical Regulations. It is definitely easier to follow someone in front of you with these new cars. But with the tyres, I felt it was easier to overheat them than before, which means you still want to overtake as soon as possible, before the tyres get too much heat in them.”
This weekend will also be Tsunoda’s first-time racing at the Albert Park Circuit, and only the second time he’s stepped foot in the country. The Scuderia AlphaTauri driver is planning to approach this weekend how he normally does for tracks which are new to him.
“The Melbourne circuit will be completely new for me, and I’ve driven it just once on the simulator. The layout has changed from previous years and will make for a faster track. I will take my usual approach with a new circuit and build up my speed over the free practice sessions.
“I’ve been to Australia once, when I was 12 years old: it was a school trip to the Gold Coast, nowhere near Melbourne. I really liked the country and the atmosphere, and I still remember the first time I ate Aussie beef. I thought the taste was really good so I’m looking forward to doing that again. Food is always my first priority in a new country!”