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Gasly's Modest Hopes for Alpine in Melbourne

Gasly’s Modest Hopes for Alpine in Melbourne

21/03/2024

Amidst a challenging start, Pierre Gasly tempers expectations for Alpine F1’s upcoming Melbourne race, urging a cautious yet hopeful stance.

Amidst a challenging start, Pierre Gasly tempers expectations for Alpine F1’s upcoming Melbourne race, urging a cautious yet hopeful stance.

Pierre Gasly is not setting high expectations for Alpine F1 in Melbourne. The team had the weakest performance in Bahrain, and they were close to that position again in Jeddah, leading the French driver to urge caution.

“It’s always the same approach, I come here and will give my all for the team and to seize any opportunity that might arise,” Gasly stated. “The car will be the same as in Bahrain and Jeddah, so we will not be in a position to fight at the front.”

“However, we have tests planned to better understand the car, and we won’t forget last year’s race, which was lively, so who knows what will happen this year? We need to be at our best to grab any chance.”

When asked about upcoming developments on the A524, Gasly remains cautious: “I know people want a precise answer, and I won’t give one. I had two good days at the factory this week and had productive meetings with team members. We took a step back and looked at the first two races.”

“We reviewed what the car is doing, what our development options are, and their timelines. We have a plan, I won’t share confidential information, but changes are coming. We don’t know exactly when, and everyone wants it because we don’t like being in this position, but we’re doing our utmost.”

“Nobody likes to be in such difficulty.”

Esteban Ocon also has faith in the amount of work his team is doing, even though Alpine’s current lag behind the pack, and especially its goals, is substantial. He reassures about the atmosphere at Enstone and Viry currently.

“It’s not a situation we enjoy as a team. I think none of us, whether at Viry or Enstone, likes to struggle so much during the weekends,” the French driver noted.

“It’s a long season, and obviously, we are working to try and optimize the car, understand where our problems lie, and turn things around. It’s easier said than done. Until we do, it’s just words.”

“But it’s the goal we’re pursuing as a team. And yes, we won’t ease the pressure until we’ve achieved it. And that’s everyone’s goal. The team’s morale is good. Everyone is motivated, and that’s the most important thing right now.”

Addressing the issues with the A524, Ocon admits they aren’t easily summed up: “There are a lot of small things not working as we would like, but the field is so tight right now that the details, if you have many that are off, make a huge difference.”

“I remember being this far off the pace with Manor, but today, it’s much tighter. The field is much more compact from P1 to our category, and the way to address issues is very different. So, yes, we’ll see where and how we progress throughout the year, but the aim is to improve.”

Not being able to score points is “the worst feeling”

With the gap to the top five teams, several drivers stand no chance of scoring points if a race goes smoothly for Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes, and Aston Martin F1. Ocon admits this is highly frustrating.

“It’s the worst feeling you can have. And honestly, I hate it when you have a good weekend and you’re not able to break into the points; there’s no reward for you at the end. But it’s up to us to try to understand and gain more performance and get closer to these cars.”

“But yes, it’s tough going into a weekend and pushing as hard as possible, mentally, doing your utmost knowing there won’t be a reward at the end. But it’s part of the job. You have to do the best with what you have, and that’s why I’m here.”

It will be challenging for him to come full circle and secure a good result to overcome the frustration of a late-race retirement in 2023: “I think it was a very interesting race. There were a lot of battles. And I believe we had managed to move up almost into the points at one point.”

“So yes, it was a clean race. But not enough, unfortunately. We still need to work on the car’s pace and try to make it faster. But yes, an interesting race regardless. And I’m looking forward to making the most of the car here.”

Gasly’s Modest Hopes for Alpine in Melbourne. Gasly’s Modest Hopes for Alpine in Melbourne

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