Pierre Gasly is keen to show AlphaTauri are “constantly improving” at the Russian Grand Prix – three weeks after his maiden F1 triumph.
Producing the sport’s biggest shock result for many years, Gasly won the Italian Grand Prix at Monza when a combination of ideal strategy, a red-flag stoppage, a penalty for Lewis Hamilton and solid pace at the end of the race enabled him to hold off Carlos Sainz.
However, a week later in the Tuscan Grand Prix at Mugello, the Frenchman experienced the other side of the coin. Not only did he exit qualifying in Q1, his race was over on the first lap when he became caught up in a melee that also caused the retirement of Max Verstappen.
After a week’s break, F1 resumes with the Russian Grand Prix at Sochi, where Gasly wants to continue the progress AlphaTauri have been showing as they lift themselves up through a highly competitive midfield pack.
“We will have to wait and see how we go, but I’d say we are working in the right direction with the car,” said the 24-year-old – who has finished in the points in five of this year’s first nine races – in the race preview on AlphaTauri’s official website.
“We have learned a lot about setting the car up to get all the performance out of it. We are pretty consistent now in performance terms and we have shown weekend after weekend that we are constantly improving.
“We have a better understanding of how the car works and the updates we introduced seem to work well.
“Now we have to make sure we keep out of trouble, as we have seen there is a lot going on in the races at the moment.
“We want to continue this upward trend – at Spa and Monza our performance was good, and even in Mugello right up to qualifying.
“Where we are in the midfield is incredibly close between several teams. We are in a group separated within three-tenths of a second, so it will be important for us to do everything perfectly if we want to fight with the cars directly ahead of us.”
Gasly also hailed the positive effect on morale that his victory has had on the team.
“I think it has given everyone a real boost,” he added. “Not just the race team but also everyone behind the scenes.
“Now we have to try and continue with a run of strong performances that we have seen since the start of the season.”