With grid penalties for Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas, Pierre Gasly appeared to be in the perfect position for a podium in Qatar, but after a grueling long race he finished outside the points. ‘Very frustrating’, he calls the course of the race, in which he ‘never had the speed’.
Gasly had an excellent weekend in Qatar. He set the fourth fastest time in qualifying, but was suddenly second on the starting grid today after grid penalties for Verstappen and Bottas. The soft tire gave him an advantage over pole sitter Lewis Hamilton, who started on the mediums, but was unable to capitalize on that. He had to quickly relinquish his second place to Fernando Alonso and Verstappen also quickly settled with his former teammate. Gasly continued to sink further and further and lost a lot of time. The team then decided to go for the two-stop, but that didn’t even give Gasly a point.
“It was very frustrating,” Gasly said Sky Sports. “Our pace was really shocking, we don’t really have an answer. We tried to stay behind Fernando in the first few laps, but I could barely keep up with him. Then we tried to go for an aggressive two-stop, but we just never had the speed. It was shocking,” the Frenchman repeats.
“I pushed as hard as I could, but even with newer tires I was too far away from Fernando while he was driving on used tyres. We’ve had some miracles over the past few weekends and it can’t be like this every weekend, but I don’t understand how the cars could qualify so well in the top ten and both fall back in the race like that. We showed no sign of speed, and that’s what matters,” said Gasly.
Alpine did very well for the championship with third place for Alonso and fifth place for Esteban Ocon. Before the race, Alpine and AlphaTauri were still level, but now the difference is 25 points. “Of course it’s frustrating to see where the Alpines have finished, but in the end they were just better. So we can do nothing but congratulate them,” concludes Gasly.