Scuderia Alpha Tauri’s Pierre Gasly had a strong qualifying session for Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix at the Barcelona Circuit Du Catalunya in Spain on Saturday and will start the race from 12th place where he will have a choice of the tyre he starts on and speaking following the action he said:

“I’m obviously disappointed with the final result, that’s the first time we’ve not made it through to Q3 this year and we missed it by just two hundredths, which is nothing. That being said, I’m happy with the car balance this weekend but we’ve really struggled with grip, we just seem to slide around, then overheat the tyres and on this track you really pay the price for that. I think we were slightly more competitive at the start of the year, so we need to go away and understand how we can regain that lead again in the midfield battle. Nevertheless, tomorrow is where we score points and we’ll be starting in P12 with a free tyre choice, which will hopefully give us a slight advantage in the race.”

Yuki Tsunoda ended the session in 16th and starts the race just ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and speaking following the action the Japanese driver commented saying:

“It’s frustrating for me, the performance in the car is definitely there and I think we should easily be making it through to Q2, but I just couldn’t find the grip today. Pierre and I have very different feedback about the car, even when we have the same set-up, so I need to understand whether this is due to the characteristics of it or our different driving styles and then I can look closer at the data with my engineers. I think if I find this reason then I can really start to harness the full potential of the car.”

Claudio Balestri (Chief Engineer – Vehicle Performance) commented saying:

“Today’s sessions have highlighted just how tight the midfield is this year and how a small difference in lap time can make such a big difference to a driver’s final position. In FP3 both drivers showed good lap times and we found that the changes to the car set-up that we’d made overnight were positive. To be fast on this track you need to find a good compromise between the sectors, so this was our main focus before Qualifying. In Q1 Pierre completed just one lap on the option tyre and easily made it through to Q2. On the other side of the garage, Yuki was struggling a bit more with his car and he wasn’t able to enter Q2, missing out by just one hundredth. We had a similar situation in Q2 with Pierre, who narrowly missed reaching Q3 by a few hundredths. Our focus now turns to tomorrow’s race – we believe our long-run pace on Friday appeared competitive, so we hope that we can finish the race in the points.”

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