Pierre Gasly admits their tyre choice in F1 Imola GP eventually let them down, as Yuki Tsunoda was left frustrated after the weekend.
AlphaTauri’s Gasly and Alpine’s Esteban Ocon were the only ones inside the Top 10 to opt for the wet weather tyres to start the F1 Imola GP, when most others went for intermediate. The gamble didn’t pay off, where the latter pitted immediately to change.
Gasly, however, continued on, despite the safety car intervention. That played against him as on re-start, the Frenchman was chewed upon by majority of the grid, as he dropped to the back of the pack. They were hanging on for a dry line to appear to switch to slicks.
The waiting game hurt him, but red flag came to his rescue. However, it then became a situation of passing his rivals, which wasn’t easy. He finished eighth behind Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll, but the Canadian’s penalty allowed the Frenchman to be seventh.
Post-race, Gasly admitted that the tyre choice wasn’t the right one and that they were screwed further by waiting for a dry line to appear. “For sure it wasn’t a great afternoon for us,” said Gasly to TV media. “Honestly, it was very-very difficult.
“We decided to start with the wets – I was in favour, the team was in favour, we thought we would try and in the end it turned out we were the only few out there on the wet compound, and there was no grip at all and we were extremely slow. I think at some point we were last in the race so starting P5, that was clearly not what we expected and wanted.
“After the restart I think I was P14 and tried to come back and use the pace of the car in the dry, and we had a couple of battles and managed to save a couple of points. I guess we were screwed, so we were waiting for the track to be dry. It didn’t work out for us at the start. We need to have a look at what could have been better.
“We were not in a position to compete with these guys so I think P6 is where we could have finished. But that’s racing – sometimes we make the right call, sometimes the wrong call and that’s also how we learn. I think we have a car which can give us the opportunity to fight in the mix for the points in the coming races and we will have to make sure we do the right things,” summed up Gasly.
His teammate Tsunoda had a weekend to forget after the high in Bahrain. The Japanese crashed out in Q1 heavy and was forced to start from the back. He was in the mix early on, but post red flag, he had another spin, which sealed his fate in the grand prix.
“Overall this week I just made it tough for myself, two huge mistakes two days in a row,” said Tsunoda to TV media. “For me it was unacceptable. I’m just going to learn from it this time and just to better next time. I see my mistakes, even in Q1, when I see car performance overall this week, I don’t have to push like that much.
“So, I don’t know why I pushed too much even though I don’t have to. So that was my mistake, just learn from it. As for the re-start, I had a lot of frustration with myself, the pace was there and I nearly overtook Lewis. I think of that again and again, the space was there, I make it difficult by myself,” summed up Tsunoda.
To add to his misery, Tsunoda also had a penalty for track limits, especially after his red flag spin. The Japanese F1 driver noted that he was very frustrated by then and so, he was pushing as much he could, without realising the track limits situation.
“From my position, I don’t care much to be honest, I was just really frustrated, I tried to go as fast as possible, but definitely of course the penalty I did again and again, three times track limits, so that’s not a good thing of course in future,” said Tsunoda. “I just have to consistently focus, I think until the red flag my focus was very good, I think I lost focus after the red flag, this is a lesson for the future.”
Here’s how F1 Imola GP panned out