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Gasly not expecting any 'magic tricks' for Saudi Arabia after lowly Bahrain finish for Alpine

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BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - MARCH 02: Pierre Gasly of France and Alpine F1 prepares to drive on the grid

Pierre Gasly admitted that Alpine's car didn't have any more in it at the Bahrain Grand Prix, as he finished 18th with his team mate Esteban Ocon just ahead in P17.

It has been a difficult start to the 2024 season for the squad with their new-concept A524 unable to deliver points in its first outing. That disappointing first Grand Prix was then followed by the news that Technical Director Matt Harman and Head of Aerodynamics Dirk de Beer had left the team, with Alpine announcing a technical re-shuffle.

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The announcement continues the theme of high-level changes seen at Alpine during 2023, with Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer, Sporting Director Alan Permane, Chief Technical Officer Pat Fry and CEO Laurent Rossi all exiting – with Bruno Famin confirmed as full-time Team Principal earlier this year.

On the track there was hope Alpine would see some progress following their sixth-placed constructors' finish last year, but after their lowly finishing slots in Bahrain, Gasly admitted afterwards that the car didn’t have any more. It was also a day where nothing went their way either, as both drivers got hampered by the Turn 1 chaos that ensued after Lance Stroll spun, with Gasly also suffering a slow pit stop that cost him further time.

BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - MARCH 02: Pierre Gasly of France driving the (10) Alpine F1 A524 Renault makes a

Gasly suffered a slow pit stop on his way to a P18 finish in Bahrain

“We knew it would be tough to battle, it was not our day on top of that,” said Gasly. “I had an amazing start but then I got into the mess with Lance [Stroll] spinning, kind of like everyone bunching up into Turn 1, so didn’t benefit from the great start.

“After that the car felt like we maximised everything out of it. We are struggling with the pit stops at the moment, we know it is an area we need to improve, it cost me around ten seconds today. We are working on it, the guys are working on it, today would have not put us in the points but we know it’s an area we have to make improvements over the next few weeks.”

With Saudi Arabia coming hot on the heels of Bahrain, there isn’t much time to analyse the data, and Gasly confirmed that the team don’t have any upgrades in the works just yet – although he does expect the Jeddah track to suit their car slightly more than Bahrain did.

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“I wish I could read in the future and have the solutions,” he added. “At the moment we are all pushing in the same direction, we are aware of the situations, we are aware of the limitations we have. We have to find solutions with the tools we have in our hands.

“We don’t expect any magic tricks for next week, we won’t have any upgrades on the car but mid-term to long-term we know the direction we want to head into and what we want to improve, and patience will be key.”

BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - MARCH 02: Esteban Ocon of France driving the (31) Alpine F1 A524 Renault leads

Ocon finished just ahead of his team mate in 17th

As for Gasly's team mate Ocon, he might have finished ahead of his team mate but that was about all he had to show for a race where neither Alpine car ever looked likely to make inroads through the field. For a team that were fighting for podiums at times last year, it could be a bitter pill to swallow – but instead, the Frenchman is taking the positives where he can find them.

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“The most important for me is to extract the maximum from the car, if the car is where we are right now, if the car is above in the front, that’s my target for the whole season and that’s what I want to achieve.

“I’m looking forward to checking the data, that’s the exercise we need to do today, check the data compared to other cars on different compounds and see what is the difference between the race and quali with the other cars.

“All in all, it’s been a difficult weekend but I think Jeddah should suit our car a little bit better and I hope we are going to be closer to the pack than we were this weekend.”

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Ocon left hoping Alpine car is better suited to Jeddah after P17 in Bahrain

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