Gasly 'very frustrated' by Q1 exit less than a week on from Monza victory
Less than a week on from his unexpected maiden victory in Monza, Pierre Gasly was brought back down to earth with a bump in Mugello as he served up another unexpected event: dropping out of qualifying in the very first segment.
The Frenchman, who hadn’t been eliminated in Q1 since Belgium last year, his first since his demotion from Red Bull, had to content himself with 16th on the grid as team mate Daniil Kvyat qualified four places better off in P12.
Afterwards, F1’s newest race winner was understandably aggrieved, especially as he’d been an excellent fifth fastest in final practice.
"Honestly [it's] very frustrating because at the most important moment of the weekend we just didn’t execute things perfectly," he said.
“I mean free practice we were really good, we had a good car and yeah honestly everything was pretty good. In quali we made a few changes which didn’t really go in the right direction, but still the car was nice, we pushed the engine more and on my two laps I ran out of energy 300 metres before the line - that cost us over a tenth [of a second].”
Gasly now faces an uphill battle to score points for the fourth straight race, the AlphaTauri driver pinning his hopes on a strategic masterstroke to get into the top 10, given the challenges of overtaking around the high-speed Tuscan track.
“For sure we know we are faster than where we are now,” he said, “but we also know that qualifying was very, very important on such a track because it’s not going to be easy to pass.
“So we’ll have to try to work out something with the strategy, something different, and try to show the car’s pace that we’ve shown all weekend to try and come back.”
In contrast to Gasly, Kvyat was very happy with his session, despite an off an Turn 7 on his final run in Q2.
“I tried to take it flat,” laughed the Russian. “But it was fun though – I had fun trying. I felt comfortable to be honest in the car today.
“I’m still trying to understand this car, over one lap especially. Sometimes it clicks, and when it clicks I can be really quick. Sometimes it doesn’t click, but we are getting there…”
Kvyat is targeting a fourth points finish of the year, at what is the AlphaTauri team’s second of three home races this year.