Scuderia Alpha Tauri had a solid opening day of practice at the Bahrain International circuit ahead of Sunday’s race. Pierre Gasly finished the day in sixth place with a time of 01.29.551s and speaking following the action he said:
It’s nice to be back in a bit more normal conditions compared to Istanbul two weeks ago. We had a positive Friday, probably one of our strongest this season and the car felt good straight away since FP1. I think pace-wise we look pretty competitive, but there are still some things we can improve on in terms of car balance to extract even more from the package we have. It looks promising, so we’ll try to find these extra tenths for Qualifying tomorrow.
Daniil Kyvat ended the day in ninth place with a time of 01:29.900s and speaking following the action he said:
It was an interesting day, in FP1 I wasn’t too happy with the car balance, but we improved quite well for FP2. I think we understood the direction we needed to take, so it was a positive result. We have a lot of good data for tomorrow to analyse so we can hopefully make another step and improve further. I had the red flag come out during my Soft compound run which was a bit of a shame, nevertheless, the pace felt quite good today. This track is high with tyre degradation, so we will have to understand how to cope with it better than the others.
Scuderia Alpha Tauri chief engineer Jonathan Eddolls commented saying:
Even though we’re close to the end of the season, it didn’t mean there wasn’t anything for us to test today. We came here with some aerodynamic parts that we needed to test and understand, and each team was given two additional sets of 2021 tyres to evaluate for Pirelli. Both free practices were quite busy, as the aim was to have the car on the track almost all of the time. FP1 was more about understanding the 2021 tyres over long runs, and also to sign off and understand some of the new aerodynamic components, so there was less setup work carried out in that session. We reviewed the data and made some changes to the car, and with the track being rear limited, along with an aggressive tyre choice, rear degradation was high, so we needed to address that going into FP2. We started FP2 with a short-run compare with the 2020 vs 2021 tyre, then went on with our normal programme. It’s fair to say the changes we made have improved the car and the performance is looking good, in line with our expectations. With the degradation we have, the long run and the race is going to be tricky, so we need to understand what we need to do to reduce it for the race – that’s going to be the focus tonight.”