Sixth on the starting grid, ninth at the finish. The bittersweet script of Austrian Grand Prix, for Pierre Gasly, arose from a race strategy that, in hindsight, the French driver of theAlphaTauri he would have gladly changed. In qualifying with soft tires the AT02 Gasly turned out to be very fast, finishing his best lap in Q3 with just 58 thousandths of a delay on the Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas. The race, however, turned out to be a completely different game: the choice of soft required two stops, “A tactic – Gasly explained at the end of the race – from which we hoped to be able to reap more benefits than those obtained “.
AlphaTauri: 164 laps for Gasly in Pirelli tests
Analyzing the data collected after the first two test sessions on Friday, the team based in Faenza believed that the cars of Gasly and Tsunoda would be penalized by the choice of medium coverage in Saturday tests. The progress of the race, however, showed the opposite. A further demonstration of a choice that proved wrong, as Gasly himself pointed out, is given by the fact that “The McLarens (games with medium tires, ed) they managed to capitalize on the strategy with a stop. Ricciardo started in thirteenth position and finished seventh stopping in the pits only once “. For this, according to the pilot born in Rouen, “We need to review our approach to the weekend and study the numbers better”.
Franz Tost: “From the end of July we will only think about the AT03”
On the one hand, the soft tires allowed Gasly to set an excellent time in qualifying and to have more chances to qualify for Q3 compared to Ferrari, on the other hand they began to create obvious problems for him right from the start of the race. “After only five laps I began to feel a loss of grip from the rear – explained the French driver -. I tried to extend the stint as much as possible before switching to hard tires “, even if making an extra stop has meaning “Lose a lap” reduce the chances of recovering on Leclerc and fighting for eighth position. While it did not prove successful, the AlphaTauri’s two-stop strategy also provided positive indications, according to Gasly: “After the second tire change we were very fast, catching up on the Ferraris and McLarens. In the end I got pretty close to Leclerc “.