‘I can’t be too greedy’ – Gasly delighted with P6 in Saudi Arabia as Tsunoda ‘frustrated’ despite making Q3
Pierre Gasly said he could “only be happy” to register yet another top-six start in 2021, even if he felt it could have been even better. But his AlphaTauri team mate Yuki Tsunoda was “frustrated” he didn’t get a clean lap in Q3…
Gasly got up to speed quickly at Saudi Arabia’s new Jeddah Corniche Circuit, the Frenchman looking at home in his AT02 from the very first practice session – and he excelled all the way through qualifying.
“I can only be happy with a top six,” he said. “I can’t be too greedy, but obviously at the same time, 2cm [we missed out on P5] – we should calculate, but it must be extremely close.
“You always think what could have been but at the end of the day, it’s been a very good qualifying.
“It was not an easy one, I didn’t feel comfortable in the car, Q1, Q2, I had a couple of moments. It’s difficult to put everything together. I really had to work on the lines and try to maximise everything and that’s what I did in Q3. I’m really pleased with that.”
AlphaTauri were quick in qualifying last time out in Qatar but then struggled to make the tyres last and dropped through the field in the race. While Gasly anticipates it will be another challenging Sunday, he’s hopeful it won’t be so bad.
“We have been looking at everything,” he said. “We did try to make everything we can to improve, as it’s going to be a hard one for us – a lot of high speed [sections], it’s really hard on the tyres.
“We expect it to be not an easy one for us tomorrow, but it can’t be worse than Qatar,” added Gasly, who dropped from P2 on the grid in Losail to P11 at the flag. “There it was really painful. I expect tomorrow to be slightly better but still we’ll have to fight, clearly, with the cars around us.”
Tsunoda made it into Q3 without the need to use the softest compound for the first time in his F1 career – but was left annoyed that traffic prevented him from finishing even higher than eighth.
“I’ve got mixed feelings,” he said. “Until Q3, it was really good. I went to Q3 with the medium tyre, which I’ve never done before. But I got traffic on my last push from [Sergio] Perez in first sector, I had a lot of dirty air. I couldn’t improve. I’m pretty frustrated.”
He added: “There was potential in the car to have a good lap time. If you see until Q3, consistently we were quite good. The first push on the soft tyre, we were fast. It’s a shame.”