‘Extensive damage’ puts AlphaTauri on back foot

Jon Wilde
Pierre Gasly's AlphaTauri during British GP practice. Silverstone July 2022.

Pierre Gasly's AlphaTauri passes corporate boxes during British Grand Prix practice. Silverstone July 2022.

AlphaTauri suffered a troubled opening day of the British Grand Prix weekend as “extensive damage” to aero parts affected their cars.

With a wet FP1 session limiting the track time for all 10 teams, FP2 on a dry Silverstone circuit was much the better opportunity for data-gathering ahead of the weekend’s competitive action.

But it was not a good session for Yuki Tsunoda or Pierre Gasly who finished 16th and 18th respectively – had it been qualifying, it would have represented a double Q1 exit.

“There was little to learn in FP1, which meant we needed to compress all of our planned running into FP2,” explained AlphaTauri’s chief race engineer, Jonathan Eddolls.

“In FP2, we struggled with both cars in terms of overall grip and balance – neither driver was happy and we could see some issues in the data.

“These issues were confirmed when the cars came back to the garage with extensive damage to various aero components.

“We were able to survive and keep the cars on track, but the performance was far from where we were expecting and where it should be.”

Gasly in particular will have been extremely unhappy with his FP2 position – the only drivers behind him were the duo yet to score a point in 2022, Mick Schumacher and Nicholas Latifi.

“We damaged some parts of the car quite early on today, which made things even harder for us, but generally we are just lacking quite a lot of pace,” lamented the Frenchman.

“We are struggling in high-speed corners and unfortunately this is a track that has many of them.

“Based on these track characteristics, this weekend was always going to be tough but we will work hard tonight and see what we can do to improve.

“We need to be on top of our game and try to make some steps forward so we can be in the best position for Sunday.”

Tsunoda, who has scored 11 points to Gasly’s 16 this season, added: “I feel like we’ve only really had one session so it’s a bit weird, but we still managed to complete all the running we needed to this afternoon.

“We are currently struggling a lot with the car and we are quite far away from other teams at the moment.

“We were always expecting it to be more difficult this weekend, but we will need to take a big step to be able to be competitive in qualifying.”