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Gasly Frustrated by Alpine’s Qualifying Performance in Bahrain GP



Gasly Frustrated by Alpine Qualifying Performance in Bahrain GP

The 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix qualifying session proved to be a frustrating one for Pierre Gasly and the Alpine team. Despite showing promise during pre-season testing, Alpine struggled during qualifying, with Gasly starting from last place on the grid.

Alpine posed a mystery during the 2023 Formula 1 pre-season, as they were the technically slowest team during testing. However, based on trackside observations, the expectations of their rivals, and the team’s evident optimism, it appeared that they were not as slow as their testing times suggested.

Despite this, Alpine ended up starting in last place for the Bahrain Grand Prix.

The reason for Alpine starting in last place was not entirely due to their raw pace. Additionally, the other team member, AlphaTauri convert Pierre Gasly, reached Q3 but had his best Q1 lap deleted for a track limits infringement. However, even if that lap had counted, it would have only placed him 17th on the grid.

Qualifying was exceptionally tight, with Gasly’s 20th-placed lap only 1.188 seconds behind Q1 leader Carlos Sainz. Thus, the reason for Alpine’s last-place start was not a significant loss of pace. Gasly himself explained that things simply didn’t click for the team.

Alpine’s low-key testing program meant that qualifying was essentially the team’s first opportunity to push the car to its limits, as Pierre Gasly explained. However, during the weekend, the car behaved differently than he had experienced before, and he initially believed he was chasing understeer.

Suddenly, Gasly’s significant problem changed, and he doesn’t have all the answers yet. He considers this a one-off occurrence, and the team will need to analyze the data to determine what caused the issue.


Gasly mentioned that he had been struggling with understeer all weekend and had been searching for more front grip. However, during qualifying, everything clicked into place, and the car became too extreme for the conditions, causing him to struggle with the car’s exits.

The team will need to analyze what happened and why the car behaved differently during qualifying. Gasly admits that starting in last place is not an ideal beginning to the season.

Gasly believes that there is more pace in the car than what they showed in qualifying, and they need to analyze why he was unable to extract it during the session. He remains optimistic that they can improve their performance for the race.

When asked to describe how the car felt different on qualifying day compared to Friday’s practice sessions, Gasly explained that he had been comfortable with the car’s balance throughout the weekend. He had been making minor adjustments between sessions, but the general balance of the car had remained consistent every time he drove it.

Gasly explained that during qualifying, the references and expectations he had built up over the weekend suddenly disappeared, and the car’s balance felt different. In contrast, Esteban Ocon managed to qualify in ninth place, which was much more in line with the team’s expectations.

Ocon acknowledged that they are continually learning with every lap they complete and that qualifying was the first time they had pushed the car to the maximum. He believes that the car has improved significantly compared to the winter tests, and he feels more comfortable driving it.

Ocon acknowledged that they still have some work to do as the cars in front of them are currently faster. However, he believes that they have extracted the maximum from the car for the time being, which is somewhat satisfying.


On the other hand, Gasly could not find any satisfaction in his performance and felt confused about what happened during qualifying. He had been confident and comfortable with the car until FP3 and now needs to analyze what went wrong during the two laps in qualifying.

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