News

‘We have a lot of work ahead of us’ – Alpine drivers say double-Q1 exit ‘not a surprise’ in Bahrain

Share
BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - MARCH 01: 20th placed qualifier Pierre Gasly of France and Alpine F1 walks in

A disappointing opening qualifying of 2024 for Alpine saw Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly lock-out the final row of the grid – with the French pairing admitting they were downcast, but not surprised, by the result.

Following an underwhelming three days of testing at the track last week, Alpine entered the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend claiming they were on the “back foot”, a belief that was borne out by qualifying, where Ocon claimed P19 and Gasly P20 on the grid for Saturday’s race.

READ MORE: Verstappen beats Leclerc and Russell to pole for season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix

A mature response to the result over the radio from Ocon encouraged the team to keep pushing – with Ocon then telling the media after the session: “I don’t think it was a surprise unfortunately. Looking at testing we could start to have clues – we were not sure, but the reality is today, that’s where we are.

“But as I said in my radio message, I have faith in that team; that team, some years ago, were champions [as Renault in 2005 and 2006]. These ideas were created in the same places, in Enstone and in Viry, and it can be done.

“We need to stay all united, all motivated and it’s important that we go in the same line and we keep the chin up. We need to be progressing, otherwise it’s going to be a long year.”

‘I’ve got faith in the team’ insists Ocon after Alpine lock out back row in Bahrain qualifying

Gasly, meanwhile, rued a compromised out-lap on his final effort in Q1, which left him scrapping to cross the line in time – and according to Gasly, cost him a chance of making Q2.

“We knew it was going to be tough,” said Gasly. “We saw it coming, so not a surprise. At the same time, not ideal, because we didn’t do the best job we could today; we were the last cars out on track on that last run and ran out of time on the out-lap, and I ended up racing with Checo [Sergio Perez].

HIGHLIGHTS: Relive the action from qualifying in Bahrain as Verstappen clinches pole

“The time was running out and it was a very poor out-lap, so that last run was quite compromised, and I feel we would have had a shot at Q2, which in the big picture is still not great, but better than the position we’re in right now.

“We know we have a lot of work ahead of us,” added Gasly. “We know we’re not in the position we want to be. It’s a new car, it’s not performing the way we would like. The whole team is working really hard to improve this current situation, but we also know that we’ll have to be patient and we’ll have to wait for these upgrades.

‘We saw it coming’ – Last-placed Gasly knew Alpine would struggle in Bahrain qualifying

“We’ve been experimenting quite a lot this weekend, all sessions, trying various set-ups on the car. So far there is no magic button, but I’m confident the team will find a way to bring more performance over the next few weeks.”

AS IT HAPPENED: Follow all the action from qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix

Alpine will now look ahead to Saturday’s race, which kicks off at 1800 local time – with Ocon adding that “race day, it’s going to be a good test to see where we are in comparison to single-lap pace, and I think looking at testing, we should be a little closer to the others. So I look forward to seeing what we can achieve”.

2024 Bahrain GP Qualifying: Disaster for Alpine with Gasly and Ocon both knocked out in Q1

Share

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Coming Up

Coming Up

News

Piastri outlines goal after securing front row grid slot in Monaco as Norris hails ‘better than expected’ result