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‘It’s a big shame’ – Power unit issue keeps Gasly out of FP2 after he went second quickest in first practice

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SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA - JUNE 25: Pierre Gasly of France and Scuderia AlphaTauri looks on in the garage

Pierre Gasly may have been second-fastest in FP1 for the Styrian Grand Prix on Friday but he said AlphaTauri were left scratching their heads after a Honda power unit issue forced him to sit out second practice at the Red Bull Ring.

Gasly was an impressive P2 in FP1 – though he was left furious after an encounter with Carlos Sainz (as you can see in the video below) – but it emerged before FP2 that he wouldn’t take part in the session after Honda had detected an issue with his power unit. He said it was a “big shame” that he missed out on the chance to build on his strong showing in first practice.

FP2: Verstappen quickest again in second practice at the Red Bull Ring, ahead of Ricciardo and Ocon

“Yes this morning was great with the pace, performance, the car,” said Gasly. “But unfortunately the guys spotted an issue on the PU so they didn’t want to take any risk for this afternoon; they wanted to check it first before [we] put any more mileage. It’s not ideal. We know it’s not ideal but in the end there’s nothing else we can do, so it’s a big shame but hopefully it doesn’t impact us for the rest of the weekend.

“I was really confident and there were a couple of things that we wanted to try this afternoon. It was tricky, because also Yuki didn’t feel as good, and the performance wasn’t as good compared to FP1 for him,” added Gasly. “Some question marks, but hopefully we can check everything tomorrow morning and go into qualifying confident.”

2021 Styrian GP FP1: Gasly ‘cannot believe’ Sainz block at Red Bull Ring

Team mate Tsunoda finished a solid fifth in FP1, just 0.231s behind Gasly, but finished a disappointing 15th in FP2. The Japanese rookie explained that his engine was forced into neutral, compromising his flying lap, as AlphaTauri encountered another worry on Friday.

“The soft [tyred] push lap, I got force neutral at the end of the lap. Until then I was gaining quite a lot compared to the previous lap and… I lost quite a lot there and that was my best lap. It was not ideal,” said Tsunoda.

READ MORE: Red Bull ‘throwing really good punches right now’ says Hamilton, as Mercedes trail in Friday practice

But he added: “I’m not following too much the lap time… I’m struggling more in the long runs like Paul Ricard, it’s quite a similar issue as Paul Ricard. We have to find out that issue. For me, short-run performance, we can see from FP1 that the pace is there already – we need that last bit of fine-tuning. Long run [pace] I don’t know, theres a lot of things to do.”

AlphaTauri are fifth in the Constructors' Championship ahead of the Styrian GP, just five points in front of Aston Martin.

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