Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda duo Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda suffered a frustrating day after their excellent Saturday qualifying with just the 11th spot for the Frenchman and 13th for the Japanese rookie at the 2021 Formula 1 Qatar Grand Prix.
It’s a really frustrating day. Both Yuki and I started in the top 10 but went massively backwards during the race. I was giving everything I had inside the car today, but we were just too slow. Even at the start, I wasn’t able to stick with Alonso, so we tried to go for an aggressive two-stop strategy, but the pace just wasn’t there. It didn’t work today, which is really disappointing. After the incident yesterday we changed some parts on the car, I don’t know if these could have impacted our race pace today, but we’ll have to go away and review everything, as I just can’t explain it right now.”
That was a particularly tough race, I struggled a lot on the soft tyre, especially in the first stint. We really weren’t expecting that as overall this week we’ve had a really good pace, but today in the race it really dropped off, so we’ve got to look at the data and figure out why that was. It’s a real shame, as Alpine had a very strong race today, so we need a strong comeback for the last two races.
Jody Egginton (Technical Director)
Tonight’s race has been a difficult one as both cars struggled with the pace and tyre degradation. Yuki’s first stint was compromised when a visor tear-off became stuck on the rear wing. This caused a loss of load and balance, necessitating the first stop being brought forward so it could be removed, which dropped him further back than ideal. With Pierre we were struggling with balance, as he had the high front left tyre wear, meaning he could not follow the cars ahead. So again, we were forced to bring the first stop forward and adapt the strategy to allow tyre wear to be managed. The net result of these issues impacted track positions and we did not have sufficient pace to recover on this occasion. All credit to Alpine, they really made the soft tyre work and in such a tight battle this has made the difference tonight. Obviously, the entire team is disappointed to have lost ground in the battle for fifth in the Constructors’ Championship, however, there are still two races to go. Although challenging, our objectives remain unchanged and we will be pushing hard to score as many points as we can.