Pierre Gasly’s joy turned to frustration at the Tuscan Grand Prix after he suffered a shock Q1 elimination.
The Frenchman was on top of the world after the Italian Grand Prix at Monza. Nobody could have predicted the crazy series of events which saw Gasly take the chequered flag and win his first race in Formula 1, and in the process take his AlphaTauri team to the top step of the Monza podium for a second time.
And while Formula 1 is still in Italy for the first ever Tuscan Grand Prix, Gasly’s fortunes took a sharp decline after he was eliminated in the first part of qualifying.
But what made Gasly even more frustrated with his early elimination was the fact that his AT01 had plenty of performance to give, but in his opinion that opportunity was squandered.
“Honestly it’s very frustrating, because at the most important moment of the weekend we just didn’t execute things perfectly,” he told reporters.
“So far the pace has been really good, the car we managed to get it in the right window, we made a few changes for quali that didn’t go really in the right direction, but still it was pretty good.
“But my two laps we pushed the engine more and I ran out of energy 300 meters before the line and it cost us over a tenth.
“The margins were very small and in the end it cost us a lot.”
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It’s not like Gasly has been struggling at any stage during the weekend. In Friday practice he was a consistent feature of the top ten, finishing P5 and P8 in the morning and afternoon sessions respectively.
Then in the final hour of practice before qualifying he finished P5 again.
Now Gasly’s only chance will be to take a risk with strategy and hope it pays off as he chases a strong points haul, but he doesn’t expect the Mugello circuit to lend itself particularly well to overtaking.
“Yeah we know we’re faster than where we are now, so we’ll have to try something with the strategy,” he admitted.
“We knew quali was super important on such a track, it’s not going to be easy to pass, but now that’s done and we need to find ways to recover for tomorrow and that’s what we’ll try to do.”