Alpine’s Otmar Szafnauer has given his assessment of Pierre Gasly’s start with the squad, with the team boss expecting more to come from the Frenchman. There have been mixed fortunes for Gasly in his first few races with the outfit. His debut qualifying session in the A523 ended with an exit from Q1, resulting in him starting the Bahrain Grand Prix from the back of the grid. Despite this, Gasly made his way through the field to finish the event in P9, a position that he also claimed in Saudi Arabia. Both Gasly and teammate Esteban Ocon had looked on course for a strong result in the Australian Grand Prix, but an incident-packed penultimate race restart led to the Alpine drivers making contact and retiring from the running. Speaking before the race in Melbourne, Szafnauer praised Gasly’s speed but acknowledged that he still needs time to adjust to his new environment. Szafnauer on ‘fast’ Gasly “He’s new and it takes time,” Szafnauer told media, including . “He’s enjoying the team, he likes his engineering team and the mechanics, and we like him. “He’s fast but it will take time at the margin to eke every little bit out of the car, and he’s still getting comfortable with us. “I talked to him after the [race in Saudi Arabia] and he said, ‘Look, give me a couple more races and there’s a couple of tenths in me.'” On where those tenths might come from, Szafnauer explained: “I think it’s just a better understanding of driver and engineering team to set the car up like he likes it.” Both Gasly and Ocon have scored four points so far in 2023, putting Alpine sixth in the Constructors’ Championship.

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