Scuderia AlphaTauri’s Chief Engineer of Vehicle Performance, Claudio Balestri, has stated that they will leave the disappointing Dutch Grand Prix weekend behind them as the team move forward and focus on the upcoming race in Italy.
With both drivers failing to score points, AlphaTauri hoped for a stronger finish and aimed to finish inside the top ten. After moving on from the Zandvoort circuit the Italian F1 team are currently eighth in the Constructor’s Championship, just four points ahead of Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 team.
In the opening lap, both drivers lost places to Esteban Ocon and Lance Stroll which caused setbacks early on as Tsunoda sat in eleventh place and Gasly behind him in twelfth place, getting caught up in traffic for the first ten laps and losing another place to Fernando Alonso. After pitting for the hard tyre, Gasly still found himself trailing behind the other drivers despite the hard compound seeming competitive with the surrounding cars.
The late safety car deployed due to Alpha Romeo F1 Team ORLEN driver Valterri Bottas stopping at the end of the track on the main track gave the team the opportunity to stay out on track, unlap Gasly and then pit the lap after, switching to Options. Despite the chance the late safety car dangled in front of the AlphaTauri pit wall, Lance Stroll was running decent pace in the last corner, preventing Gasly from entering the points.
Claudio Balestri reflects on just narrowly missing out on points over the weekend, “Today the target was to score points and unfortunately, we didn’t manage that.
“We started with both cars on Softs and we knew we needed to carefully manage the tyres. In the fight at the first lap, we lost a few positions to Ocon and Stroll, so for most of the first stint, we were in eleventh with Yuki and twelfth with Pierre.
“Pierre ran in traffic for 10 laps and therefore suffered more tyre degradation, meaning he also lost a position to Alonso, so after a few laps we called him in to fit the Mediums.
“We then did the same with Yuki for his second stint. In this middle part of the race, with both cars on Mediums, we were not able to keep the pace of the two Alpines in front.“
Gasly’s team-mate Tsunoda was unable to avoid retiring from the race as the car encountered issues at the rear after pitting for the hard compound tyres. Balestri explained that after seeing the hard compound tyre was performing well on Gasly’s car, the team decided to pull Tsunoda in but had to retire the car immediately.
On the team performance, Balestri commented on the retirement of the car and stated it was under investigation:
“After the pit stop he reported something strange at the rear of the car, we called him in again to change the tyres and immediately after we had a car failure. This is currently under investigation within the team.“
With another race fast approaching, Balestri and the team are already anticipating a more fruitful weekend in Italy as the European races come to an end in Monza this weekend;
“Now we need to switch our thoughts to the preparation for the next race in Monza.”