Pierre Gasly admits it is always disappointing not to make it into Q3 in Qualifying, but the weekend at Albert Park has been a difficult one for Scuderia AlphaTauri and eleventh place was the best result possible for the Frenchman.
Gasly has seen improvements from both the McLaren F1 Team and BWT Alpine F1 Team this weekend in Australia, and he says AlphaTauri have not had the same kind of leap forward, and as a result it was always going to be hard to make it into the top ten shootout purely on pace.
“It’s always disappointing to miss out on Q3, but I think this weekend has been tough for us,” admitted Gasly. “We saw that McLaren and Alpine have made a step forward, we just didn’t have the pace to do much better.
“We know what we need to work on and we’ve planned some upgrades in the coming races, but to miss Q3 by a tenth of a second is always painful. We’ve managed to improve on some areas, but some issues just remained throughout the weekend, so it’s a bigger picture we need to look at.
“I think we did what we could, I don’t think Q3 was on the cards today.”
Gasly believes Sunday’s Grand Prix is likely to be a long one, but he wants to be in position to capitalise on any mistakes the leading teams make.
“It’s going to be a long race, there could be some mistakes made by others, so I need to keep focussed and make sure to see the chequered flag,” said the Frenchman.
“It was hard but there was potential to be in the top 10” – Yuki Tsunoda
Team-mate Yuki Tsunoda had a scruffy session and ended the day down in thirteenth, with the Japanese racer believing he had the pace to break into the top ten.
Tsunoda felt the performance of his AT-03 dropped away between Q1 and Q2, which made for a much more difficult session than anticipated, and an off-track moment cost both him and team-mate Gasly one of their runs.
Despite his poor result, Tsunoda feels there is potential to move forward on Sunday, and he will be looking to break back into the points after missing out last time out in Saudi Arabia.
“It was hard but there was potential to be in the top 10,” said Tsunoda. “Between Q1 and Q2 I lost performance from the car and it just felt different, the rear was gone and I struggled to adapt to it.
“I went off track in one of my runs and impeded Pierre, which I apologise for. We have to see what happened, hopefully we can put everything together and score points in the race.”