Formula 1

Pierre Gasly: “I still feel like we’ve got a few things to improve on”

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Credit: Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Pierre Gasly was pleased to leave Albert Park with two points to his name after fighting back through the field from fourteenth to take ninth place after losing out due to the timing of the safety car.

The Scuderia AlphaTauri driver had made up a couple of places off the grid and was running at the back end of the top ten when he pitted just moments before the safety car was deployed.  This meant his early hard work was undone as he fell to fourteenth as other’s made a pit stop behind the safety car.

But he did not let the disappointment distract him from the job in hand as he made some good moves to get back up to eighth, although a late race mistake allowed Valtteri Bottas to get ahead, leaving him ninth at the chequered flag.

“I’ll take those two points today!” said Gasly.  “It’s been quite an unfortunate race for me, I managed to pass two cars at the start, but then I got unlucky pitting right before the safety car and dropped to P14.

“I was pretty mad at the time, but I stayed focussed and managed to come back through to P9. I had a nice battle with Lance [Stroll] which I enjoyed, it was pretty intense on a track like this, but in the end I got the best of him.”

Despite the pleasing way he was able to climb back into the points, Gasly admitted it had been another tough weekend for AlphaTauri, with the Frenchman feeling they still have things to improve on if they are to push themselves higher up the order heading into the first European race of the season at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari later this month.

“Objectively, it’s been a tough weekend for us, so I think we can be quite happy with the result and to leave with two points,” said the Frenchman.  “I still feel like we’ve got a few things to improve on, we’ve got some new parts coming in the next few races, so we’ve got to keep up with the others if we want to keep fighting for these positions.

“We would like to be a bit further up in the order, so we’ll keep pushing.”

“It was very difficult to keep up with other cars” – Yuki Tsunoda

Team-mate Yuki Tsunoda was unable to break into the points on Sunday, with the Japanese racer feeling he had no pace in his AT-03 to bring himself into contention for the top ten.

Tsunoda admitted it was difficult to keep up with those ahead of him, and ultimately, he ended well down the order in fifteenth, not where he was hoping to be heading into his first Australian Grand Prix weekend.

“There wasn’t any pace today,” said Tsunoda.  “We struggled for the whole race, so we need to work out why to avoid something like this happening again.

“It was very difficult to keep up with other cars and stay in their DRS, we just lacked performance overall and I didn’t expect it to be that bad. It is what it is, we have to stay positive and work on improving for the next race.”

Yuki Tsunoda finished only fifteenth in Australia – Credit: Mark Thompson/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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