Pierre Gasly was thrilled by his recovery to seventh place in the Sao Paulo Grand Prix, hailing it “one of our best races of the year” amid a tough weekend for the Alpine team.

Starting down in 15th, Gasly profited from chaos ensuing at the start from a clash between Alex Albon and Kevin Magnussen to rise to 11th before the race was stopped.

The Frenchman gained a further two places on the standing restart, progressing up to ninth at the expense of team-mate Esteban Ocon and AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda.

Gasly continued to run solidly in the points for the remainder of the 71-lap encounter, utilising a brand-new set of Soft tyres to pass both Mercedes drivers in the final stint.

Despite falling short of catching Carlos Sainz, Gasly was buoyed by his eight-place climb after the Enstone side had endured a troubled weekend at the Interlagos circuit.

“I think it was one of our best races of the year to be fair,” Gasly reflected. “It was two very, very strong starts. Managed to pass cars on both occasions and [the] second start I managed to get in the gearbox of Sainz and pretty much the whole race I was, you know, keeping up with Sainz, the Aston in front, the Mercedes I had as well.

“And we managed to make the two-stop work, good tyre management, good pit stop, pass George [Russell] and pass Lewis [Hamilton] on the race track and in the end I was managing to lap like a tenth from Carlos in the whole race.

“So I’m very, very happy, especially because we’ve been struggling a lot on this track since we arrived. So one of the best performances.”

Pierre Gasly (FRA) Alpine F1 Team A523. 05.11.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 21, Brazilian Grand Prix, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Race Day.

Alpine had struggled for one lap pace during Friday evening’s qualifying session, resulting in a double Q2 elimination. The Anglo-French outfit’s woes were compounded by Gasly and Ocon both picking up two-place grid drops.

However, Gasly reveals that the team opted to compromise its qualifying performance by running with less wing angle in order to maximise its straight-line speed in race trim.

“Yeah, we knew that it was a compromise to accept, especially with such small gaps as I think we missed on Q3 by four-tenths,” he explained. “That’s pretty much what we were seeing from the sims, but then after we knew in terms of racing it was better.”

While neither driver could progress into the points in Saturday’s Sprint, Gasly asserts Alpine learned vital lessons from the shortened race that it applied on Sunday.

“Yesterday [in the Sprint race], we didn’t really manage to make it work,” he continued. “It was hotter and we were struggling with the temperatures.

“Today, I managed to get in the good train of cars and, yeah, I think we did some good learnings from the tyre management yesterday. We saved a new set of Soft for the last stint, which I think was definitely the right strategy to do as a team. And yeah, it was, definitely a very, very strong race.”

Source:  Read More 

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *