In the round-up: Pierre Gasly believes Alpine did not reach its potential during the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.
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Gasly: Alpine had “not everything clicked together” for Bahrain
Gasly qualified last at Bahrain, while team mate Esteban Ocon made it to Q3 and started ninth on the grid. However their fortunes switched during the race, as Gasly charged up to ninth while Ocon retired following several penalties and errors by driver and team.
Nonetheless the team’s new driver believes “there’s so much more to come from myself and from the team as we have not reached 100% yet.”
“That is why we also left Bahrain with some disappointment as not everything clicked together and it’s important we piece everything together to make sure we extract the maximum performance,” said Gasly.
Williams announce another new top-level signing
Williams parted ways with their previous leadership team, fronted by Jost Capito, in December 2022 and then signed James Vowles to replace him as team principal but had a wait between Vowles leaving his previous employer Mercedes and starting his new role.
They have now filled the chief operating officer position too, as Capito was previously CEO, but will have to wait until April for new signing Frederic Brousseau to actually join the team.
Brousseau has spent 26 years working in the aerospace industry and primarily been based in North America in roles overseeing factory operations.
“We are very excited to bring Frederic on board as an energetic and experienced leader who can help with the transformation of Williams Racing,” said the team’s board chairman Matthew Savage.
“He began his career working on the shop floor, and his most recent role saw him looking after worldwide aerospace operations, including running multiple worldwide manufacturing sites and an operation with more than 10,000 employees. I expect him to contribute significantly to our journey at Williams.”
“We should only get stronger from here” – Rossi
McLaren’s new IndyCar signing Alexander Rossi finished fourth in his first race with the team at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, and he saw a lot of encouraging signs to support his move.
Since his debut season in 2016, Rossi had exclusively driven for Andretti Autosport and picked up eight wins in that time but had finished no higher than ninth in the standings over the past three years. He signed with McLaren for 2023 as the team expanded to three full-time entries.
“I think, in theory, we should only get stronger from here,” said Rossi after racing in St. Petersburg. “We’re still a very new group working together. I think the effort all weekend from where we started on Friday was really big to recover from a difficult start. Ultimately, we were one session behind all weekend.
“The car was nice to drive; it was just missing a little bit of that ultimate balance for that little bit of extra lap time. But, again, it’s days like [Sunday] where you got to just capitalise on the attrition and the chaos, and I think we’re only going to get stronger from here.”
He added: “I don’t think anything’s really surprised me. I think it’s just there’s a lot of ability to rectify problems quickly. That’s part of the reason why they’ve been so strong over the years. Even if you don’t roll off quite where you expect, they have the ability to recover pretty quickly, and I think that was on display for us [last] weekend.
“We went from being pretty much the worst car on Friday to being competitive and in with a shot in qualifying to just keeping our nose clean and be in the top five.”
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On this day in motorsport
- 15 years ago today Lewis Hamilton and Robert Kubica claimed the front row of the grid for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix