AlphaTauri need change of plan after Gasly P4

Date published: September 4 2021 - Jamie Woodhouse

A focused Pierre Gasly at Zandvoort. Netherlands, September 2021.

While delighted with P4 on the Dutch Grand Prix grid, Pierre Gasly says it was unexpected – so AlphaTauri will now readjust their plans for the race.

The Frenchman sprang a surprise by putting his AlphaTauri P4 on the grid in Zandvoort, setting him up to start behind only Max Verstappen and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.

It was a grid slot AlphaTauri were not expecting though, so now their race plans will need to be updated.

“Honestly, so happy because it hadn’t really been easy yesterday,” Gasly told reporters.

“This morning the same, we struggled quite a bit and we were lacking pace. And in qualy I just managed to find some extra time there and put [together] a really strong lap, so super-pleased with this fourth place.

“It probably changes some of our plans because we didn’t expect to be starting from the second row.

“But we knew how important qualy was because it’s a track where we expect overtaking to be pretty tricky, so an amazing position. The team gave me a very strong car – very happy about this qualifying.”

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Yuki Tsunoda was caught out by the red flags in Q2, which means he will start from P15.

But he has been happy with his progress so far this weekend, saying his new approach is keeping him out of the barriers as intended.

“It’s just unfortunate, there wasn’t any lap I could do,” he said of the red flags.

“First [tyre] set, I had to use the used set so that makes it a little bit of a difficult situation, but I think the progress I did this week was quite good for me.

“I never took this approach and it went well, so just unfortunate I couldn’t perform fully in the end. But I’ll just try to put it together earlier maybe from Q1 – maybe it makes it better for Q1 in the future.

“Mainly I’m focusing for races especially on the build-up and also the laps, especially first half of the season was quite [in]consistent.

“What I was doing sometimes works well, like pushing flat out, sometimes a good lap time like P4 in Q1, but most of the time I went into the barrier.

“Always each time I went into the barrier, always I lose confidence and the next grand prix I start from zero.

“The approach I was taking was really bad, and this time just changed approach and it works well.

“Now I need to prioritise the laps and for this one I think it was quite good, so I just keep doing like this to have more consistent results.”