'I trust the team' – Gasly backs AlphaTauri to solve reliability issues after problems in Jeddah
AlphaTauri’s weekend at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was a tale of contrasting fortunes for their two drivers as Pierre Gasly finished the race in P8, while Yuki Tsunoda stopped on his lap to the grid with a suspected drivetrain issue that ended his Sunday early.
Gasly – who scored his first points of the season in Jeddah after his race in Bahrain ended with his car on fire due to a power failure – was pleased with the outcome of his weekend, especially after an unfortunately-timed safety car had seen him drop down the field.
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“I am really happy to be in the top 10 and finishing P8, score a couple of points because we were very unlucky in timing with our pit stop,” said Gasly.
“We boxed I think 30 seconds before the Safety Car came out, so we lost sixth position and dropped to 14th but after that we managed to get back to P8, so quite an eventful race but all in all, very happy.”
Gasly also endured some reliability woes of his own in Jeddah after he was forced to stop at the pit exit and had to push his car backwards in FP3 with a clutch problem. The Frenchman was not overly worried about his team’s reliability going forward and backed them to overcome their issues.
“Not a big concern but clearly it is something we know [we’ve got to] improve, so I trust the team in finding the solutions going forward, it’s something we have to sort out together, but I am sure the team will find the right things to do for the rest of the year.”
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Tsunoda, on the other hand, was frustrated with the poor reliability affecting AlphaTauri after engine issues disrupted his qualifying and stopped him from taking part in the race, with the Japanese racer left feeling he had missed the opportunity to improve as a driver.
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“It’s such a shame that we are having these problems two times in a row and for us it’s two rounds in a row. We cannot continue like this, we have to solve this issue as soon as possible, reliability issue, to have more consistent results.
“Even though I was starting P19, anything can happen, maybe it was possible to be in the points. It’s such a shame… in Bahrain, the race pace was quite good. From also my side, disappointed that I could not have the experience to improve myself, but it is what it is.”
AlphaTauri will enter Australia seventh in the standings, two points ahead of McLaren, as they hope to bounce back at Albert Park in April.