Pierre Gasly hopes to make up for the disappointment he endured at Imola in 2020, having retired from the race while running P5.
The Frenchman also retired from the opening race of 2021 in Bahrain after contact on the first lap with Daniel Ricciardo, having put his AlphaTauri fifth on the grid to confirm the strong pace of his AT02.
Gasly, who wore a special helmet to commemorate the life of Ayrton Senna at Imola in 2020, hopes AlphaTauri’s home race will offer a strong result – as Imola is one of his favourite tracks.
“From what we saw in Bahrain, it seems we have a package that will allow us to fight for the big points and there is no reason for that not to be the case for the coming races,” Gasly said.
“One example of the team’s confidence was the decision to tackle Q2 at Sakhir on the medium tyre as apart from us, there was only the two Mercedes and Max Verstappen who did it. It was a risk, but it proves our belief in our car and our performance level. Now I hope we will be able to do that again at other circuits.
“Now we head to Imola, which is one of my favourite circuits. I love it. It is technical with a lot of fast corners, which allows you to get into a rhythm, and you are always busy as it is quite twisty. Last year at this track I got my best ever qualifying with the team, on the second row.
“Unfortunately, that race ended early with a problem while I was lying fifth, but it was a very good weekend up until then so now I’m keen to get back there and make up for last year’s disappointment.
“The team have worked hard since the first race as there are still areas where we can improve, even if we are clearly on the pace at the moment. But this early in the season, we can expect everyone to make progress as they get to understand their cars better and how to optimise them. So we have to work hard to keep moving forward.”