No concerns for Gasly or Tsunoda despite double DNF

Finley Crebolder
Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda at Silverstone. Great Britain July 2021

AlphaTauri drivers Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda at the British Grand Prix. Great Britain July 2021

They may have both retired from the last race, but Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda are feeling confident about the Russian Grand Prix.

The Italian Grand Prix was one of AlphaTauri’s lowest points of the season so far, with a braking issue preventing Tsunoda from even starting it and Gasly retiring a few laps in.

After the Frenchman’s race ended, Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen crashed, creating a huge opportunity for the midfield teams to score big points, and he says that made it all the more painful.

Nevertheless, he’s happy with the pace of his car and the fact that the penalty for changing engines was taken in Monza.

“What happened in Monza was regrettable, as I believe we could have done something good there, especially when you look at how the race went,” he said in the team’s Russian GP preview.

“A real shame, but there has been a positive trend after the summer break as our performance level was very good at all three races since then. It bodes well for the rest of the season, as I believe we can be competitive at all the remaining races.

“In a way, it was good that we took the engine penalty in Italy and so hopefully we can get to the end of the season without having more.”

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While Gasly has had an excellent season, Tsunoda has struggled, although the rookie has looked better at circuits that he has raced at in junior categories.

Sochi is one of them, and one that he enjoyed success at in Formula 2.

Given that, he’s in a confident mood heading to Russia.

“I’m not worried about the car, as since the start of the year it has shown good performance, especially in the last six or seven races when we produced consistently good performances,” he said.

“I will be focusing more on improving my driving and I’m looking forward to experiencing Sochi for the first time in a Formula 1 car. I am confident that I can do well there and continue to make progress over a race weekend.

“I have raced at Sochi in Formula 3 and last year in Formula 2 and I have good memories of that. I took pole position and finished second in the Feature Race.

“I will continue with my step-by-step approach, gradually learning everything about the track and how the car is working.”