Making Q3 and starting the race in P10 is a result Pierre Gasly is happy with given the engine issues he faced throughout qualifying.
The Frenchman has been plagued with power unit problems all weekend, with sensor issues meaning he couldn’t run at all in FP1.
They persisted in qualifying, and he could repeatedly be heard on his team radio stating the severity of them, saying he felt like he was destroying the engine.
“At the end of Q1, we started to have a big lag and big knocking,” he said.
“In the second run in Q2, I couldn’t complete the run. I had no power and big cuts.
Despite all this, he still managed to scrape into Q3. Despite not being able to run in the final session, he’s pleased with the result.
“I was really happy, especially because, after not running in Fp1, I didn’t drive in the dry except this morning for a few laps,” Gasly added.
“I felt good in the car, I was pushing quite hard and managed to put everything together in Q3. Now hopefully we can sort the issue for tomorrow.”
While Gasly made Q3, fellow AlphaTauri driver Daniil Kvyat was knocked out in Q1 and will start the race in P17. He admits that he’s yet to fully understand his car.
“It’s been a tough weekend so far. We had some difficult sessions that are not great for confidence regarding the car setup,” he said.
“Usually, you click with the car straight away or not, and I think me and my engineer crew have a lot of work to do trying to understand how to make the car suit myself better. Once we understand that, it should be much better.
“At the moment me and the car talk different languages, so it’s normal to look for different setup directions that will help me improve that.”
The team are in something of a no man’s land in terms of pace so far this season. While they’re not quick enough to fight the likes of Renault and McLaren ahead of them, they’re also comfortably faster than Haas, Alfa Romeo and Williams.