Race pace a concern again for Pierre Gasly in Saudi Arabia

Pierre Gasly was happy with his one-lap pace after the first day of running in Saudi Arabia but the same couldn’t be said about longer runs.

The AlphaTauri driver was one of the standout performers in both FP1 and FP1 at Jeddah, finishing them in P4 and P3 respectively and being less than a tenth off leader Lewis Hamilton in the latter session.

He enjoyed himself at the track that he says gets the blood pumping, and is happy with how things went in terms of qualifying pace.

“I must say I really enjoyed it,” the Frenchman said afterwards.

“It’s very high speed, we’re going through the corners at some crazy crazy speed and you get a big rush of adrenaline and yeah the whole day has been very, very good for us.

“I think we were fourth this morning and third this afternoon so I’m really happy with the pace, but there’s still a bit more work to do for the long runs.”

a strong end to Friday practice! 👊 @PierreGASLY finishes P3 while @yukitsunoda07 was P8 🔥 pic.twitter.com/VL7D6nZFUZ

— Scuderia AlphaTauri (@AlphaTauriF1) December 3, 2021

One-lap pace hasn’t been the issue for AlphaTauri in recent times though, with Gasly often doing excellently in qualifying but then dropping down the field on race day due to a lack of pace.

It looks like that could well be the case again this time around with the 25-year-old not particularly encouraged by how his longer runs went on Friday and feeling more work needs to be done.

“Yeah we know on Saturdays we usually do pretty well,” he added.

“So I’m quite confident for tomorrow, even if I still think we have work to do to improve and find a bit more performance.

 

“But I think mainly we need to work on Sunday [pace]. We know that’s where we usually struggle a bit more and again today I didn’t feel great during the long runs.

“So I think we have a bit of work to do on that side.”

His team’s poor race pace cost them dearly last time out in Qatar with their failure to score points coupled with Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon finishing in P3 and P5 putting them firmly on the back foot in the battle for P3 in the Constructors’ Championship.

 

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