Pierre Gasly’s Bahrain GP was undone by early contact but the Frenchman reckons there is cause for optimism at AlphaTauri after showing good pace.
Gasly qualified fifth for the Sakhir race, slotting in behind Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and ahead of McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo.
Unfortunately for the 2020 Italian Grand Prix winner, his efforts on the Sunday were hampered by first lap contact with Ricciardo.
Gasly had to pit for a new front wing, dropping him to the back of the field.
“I think [with] the pace we’ve shown, we are in the mix with the Ferrari and the McLaren and that’s the positive,” Gasly told Motorsport.com.
“I think we’re clearly going to fight with them and on all tracks.
“When I had the contact with the McLaren, after that the race was pretty much over.
“I broke the front wing, I damaged the floor and then that was it pretty much. We had some more issues towards the end of the race, which meant we had to retire the car.
“Obviously, I’m very disappointed because there was a good fight with the Ferrari and the McLaren. We missed some good points.”
I'm a race winner, get me out of here!
— Planet F1 (@Planet_F1) April 6, 2021
Gasly feels AlphaTauri have taken a step forward with this year’s car, confident they will be fighting for points at most races.
Last season he scored in 10 of the 17 races, finishing 10th in the Drivers’ Championship.
“Looking at the positives I think the whole weekend we’ve showed some really strong pace in qualifying, the long run on Friday looked strong and I think we would have been in the fight with the Ferrari and the McLaren,” he added.
“It didn’t happen, so now we just need to keep doing our work and focus on the next one and make sure that we get the points there.
“I’m sure we’ll be back fighting with them for the next ones.”