Pierre Gasly was left frustrated after F1 Qatar GP where both he and Yuki Tsunoda ended up outside the points despite Top 10 start.

It all good for AlphaTauri until the five lights went out on Sunday of F1 Qatar GP, with Gasly starting on the front row despite his late qualifying incident. Teammate Tsunoda was eighth where both the cars were in direct fight with the Alpine duo.

But the moment the lights went out, it started to go away from the AlphaTauri duo with both Gasly and Tsunoda struggling for pace. The Frenchman lost to Fernando Alonso for second and then had a wide moment to lose to Max Verstappen as well.

The struggles for Gasly forced AlphaTauri to pit him early but it didn’t help them at all. He was soon out of the Top 10 and stayed there for pretty much all of the race, when Alonso fought for the podium. Tsunoda too lost out early and couldn’t recover.

Whereas Esteban Ocon gained places to be in the Top 5. For Gasly, it was a shocking difference from Saturday to Sunday as his tyres degraded faster leaving him with no pace.  “I think objectively our pace was shocking today like with Yuki, we both started in the top 10 and we both went massively backwards,” he said to TV media.

“We tried the two-stop but even with that we should have been fast using more tyres than the others but we just never had the pace. I tried to push as high as I could, I was just sliding a lot, overheating the tyres a lot. We don’t really have answers as to why.

“It wasn’t so good. Over one lap where we managed to do some good laps, but I don’t know yesterday, obviously with the incident in quali, we had to change the front wing, we had to change the floor, also this weekend we used the medium tyres in qualifying that we used again in the race, there were a couple of things which were different.

“At the moment, we don’t have the answer we need to review everything but yeah clearly was it was very frustrating,” summed up Gasly, who had changes to his front wing/nose assembly, floor, RHS bargeboard, RHS sidepod winglet, RHS under chassis front barge board and ERS coolant header tank, after the qualifying hit, to finish 11th.

Teammate Tsunoda ended up 13th and felt no pace as well. His first stint was compromised after a visor stuck to his front wing. “That was a particularly tough race, I struggled a lot on the soft tyre, especially in the first stint,” he said. “We really weren’t expecting that, as overall this week we’ve had really good pace, but today in the race it dropped off, so we’ve got to look at the data and figure out why that was.”

From the team side, the initial findings talked of unusually high degradation of the tyres which they didn’t anticipate. “Tonight’s race has been a difficult one as both cars struggled with pace and tyre degradation,” said Jody Egginton. “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 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.”

While AlphaTauri faltered, Alpine eked out 25 points advantage over them in the fight for fifth which seemingly has put them in the driving seat with two races to go. During the Qatar race, Gasly inquired about their pace and pretty much agreed that there was no way they could have matched them in the grand prix.

“You know we can only say congrats to Alpine, they did a way better job than we did and we started in front of both of them and the pace they had was was just incredible,” said Gasly. “They were telling me the lap times of Fernando and Esteban, even I tried to push as fast as I could, but I could never match them. So, objectively they did a much better job and there’s nothing we can say about it.”

Here’s Fernando Alonso passing Pierre Gasly: https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/video.2021-qatar-grand-prix-alonso-overtakes-gasly-for-p2.1717047773344247179.html

Here’s Fernando Alonso on securing crucial podium for Alpine