RACE DEBRIEF

    Even as one of the top midfield drivers on Friday in Monaco, an encouraged Pierre Gasly is still not fully comfortable with his AlphaTauri around the streets.

    Gasly was sixth fastest in FP1 and followed that up with seventh place in FP2 to round off a strong start to the weekend in the Principality, with only Lando Norris setting quicker lap times outside of the top three teams. The Frenchman was happy with how competitive AlphaTauri looks after a tough run of results, but still thinks there’s more to find.

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    “It was difficult but like always in Monaco,” Gasly said. “I must say I’m really, really happy with this Friday in terms of performance. We were definitely always on top of the midfield so that’s really positive. Obviously we are working quite hard at the wheel but it’s as you would expect in Monaco.

    “So far we have shown a lot of positives I would say on this Friday. I managed to do clean laps, put things together and be competitive. I would still not say I am feeling 100% comfortable because I touched the wall a couple of times here and there trying to find the limit but overall I’m pretty pleased and we’ll try and do a step forward again for tomorrow.”

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    Gasly finished sixth in FP1 and seventh in FP2

    Given his return of just six points from the opening six races, the main priority for Gasly in qualifying will be to make sure he avoids any incidents or issues that could compromise the rest of his weekend.

    “We will have to try to find the right spot. It’s a short track, a lot of cars and competitive drivers who try to find the best position on a very tiny track. For sure it’s not going to be easy. We have the pace to go through to Q2 for sure this weekend and we just need to keep it clean, not do any mistakes or be involved in any silly situations and we’ll focus on that tomorrow.”

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    Tsunoda worked his way into the top 10 in FP2

    In contrast to Gasly, his team mate Yuki Tsunoda was just outside the top 10 in FP1 and 10th in the second session, half a second off the lead AlphaTauri on both occasions.

    READ MORE: ‘We’ll be ready for tomorrow’ – Ricciardo downplays FP2 crash as Norris admits surprise at being ahead of Mercedes on Friday

    “Today has been quite a difficult day, almost every push lap in both sessions I had traffic, so I didn’t get a clean run that I was happy with,” Tsunoda said. “On top of that, I made a mistake on the first set of new tyres in FP2 and had a huge flat spot, meaning I had to finish my first stint earlier than planned.

    “Hopefully tomorrow things will be better, but now I know what to expect and everyone is facing the same situation, so I need to focus on myself and the things I need to improve ahead of qualifying.”