Scuderia AlphaTauri go into the first-ever Miami Grand Prix following a mixed Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, with Pierre Gasly finishing outside the points whilst Yuki Tsunoda finished an impressive seventh.
It was a weekend to forget for Gasly, who struggled during Qualifying and then got himself caught up in a collision during the Sprint Qualifying. The race itself saw the Frenchman stuck in a frustrating DRS-train. Ahead of the Miami Grand Prix, Gasly reflected on the last round.
“Looking back at Imola, Friday practice went okay, but then we didn’t do a very good job of managing the tyres on the drying track in Qualifying, so we ended up near the back. From then on, we were on the back foot and then there was the collision in the Sprint that meant starting at the back again on Sunday. In the race, I was in a DRS train with Lewis behind me and a Williams in front, so it was a bit annoying.
“I have to admit I’ve never had much luck in the Sprint races, and I’ve often been involved in some unlucky situations. We couldn’t overtake and that was it. We had some updates, but it was hard to assess them because of the conditions on track, so I’m looking forward to going to Miami to have a normal weekend with three free practice sessions, which will allow us to really do some testing and draw some conclusions.“
This weekend represents the inaugural Miami Grand Prix at the newly-built Miami International Autodrome, which Gasly has lapped plenty of times in the simulator in the build-up to the weekend. This weekend marks the first American race of the season with Formula 1‘ trip to the Circuit of the Americas coming much later in the year. Gasly explained how he continues to be amazed at the energy the American fans produce, going as far as calling it a “special atmosphere’.
“I’ve driven Miami on the simulator. I think I did around 130 laps and it looks as though it could be a really fun track to drive with high-speed corners and some sections that are very slow and technical with long straights, so I reckon it could be a great race. I like the fun side of racing in the States, as the organisers always try and do something special in terms of entertainment to keep the crowd happy. I spend quite a bit of time in the States, and I try and take in some of their popular sports, such as the NBA, the NFL and hockey.
“Every time I go, I am amazed at how they create a special energy, a special atmosphere which is incredible. I think they are planning something along those lines for Miami to make it a stand-out event. My main hope is that we can continue to score points in every race and from my point of view, get back into the good rhythm we had in the first three races and forget about the Imola weekend.”
“Sector 3 is what I call a Formula E sector” – Yuki Tsunoda
Yuki Tsunoda enjoyed one of the best weekends in his Formula 1 career to date at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari. The young Japanese driver demonstrated excellent pace and did well to recover during both the Sprint Qualifying and the race.
“It was a difficult weekend overall in Imola, even if I was very pleased with my final race result. Qualifying did not go well and even though there was potential in the car, we couldn’t put it all together. So, it was not an ideal start, but I managed to make up four positions in the Sprint, which was good. On Sunday I again gained places on the opening lap and scored points for P7 and enjoyed some good battles, which means the team is one of only three to have scored in all four races so far this year. I’d say it was one of the best races of my F1 career so far.”
Tsunoda is back in an all too familiar scenario to him this weekend, by having never raced at the Miami International Autodrome before. It does go in his favour though that with it being a brand-new track, no one has raced there before! Like his team-mate, Tsunoda spent time in the simulator ahead of this weekend. The Scuderia AlphaTauri driver likes the look of the circuit but had an interesting way of explaining what he thinks of the final sector.
“Miami is a new circuit, but we will get three full free practice sessions to learn it. I have driven the track on the simulator and the first two sectors are quite fast with some medium and high-speed corner. Sector 3 is what I call a “Formula E sector” with a lot of very tight corners and I think overall it looks like being quite an interesting track to drive.
“I think it will be fun, although overtaking might be difficult, so we must qualify well. If we can have a long run pace similar or better than at Imola, that would be perfect. The free practice sessions will be very important for everyone as the track is brand new, so data gathering will be the most important thing on Friday.”