Pierre Gasly, Alpine, Circuit de Catalunya, 2023

Gasly expects Alpine to be “fighting for the top five soon” after Spanish GP

2023 Spanish Grand Prix

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Pierre Gasly was encouraged by the progress Alpine have made despite his disappointing result in the Spanish Grand Prix.

He qualified in fourth on Saturday at Circuit de Catalunya, before receiving two three-place grid penalties for impeding Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz Jnr in Q1.

The Alpine driver lost four more positions on the race’s opening lap after running wide at turn two. However he was able to recover from there to claim the final point for 10th place.

That left Gasly confident the team will “be fighting for top five pretty soon” if they have the same pace at all types of track.

“We definitely made a step forward,” said Gasly, who is tenth in the championship. “We need to fight to get that consistency and show we’re able to maintain that pace regardless of the tracks we’re going to.

“But I think we did it in quali and today there were clear signs that the pace was there.”

Gasly, in his first season at Alpine, said the penalty and lap one incident completely changed what was possible in yesterday’s race. Had he enjoyed a cleaner afternoon, Gasly thinks Alpine had the pace to finish ahead of Aston Martin, whose drivers finished sixth and seventh.

“It was always going to be more messy from the middle of the pack,” added Gasly. “By lap one I’m 14th, 10 positions behind where we qualified, and it changes your entire race.

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“The pace when we were alone was good, but spending all your time in a DRS train, traffic and overheating the tyres, you can’t really maximise the package. It feels like an underachieved result compared to the pace we had. I believe we had the pace for Aston today.”

Race start, Circuit de Catalunya, 2023
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His team mate Esteban Ocon was left with a bittersweet feeling after showing strong pace in qualifying, before struggling in the race. Ocon started the grand prix in sixth, but finished in eighth after struggling to maintain tyre life.

“I think it was good to score points,” said Ocon. “But coming from such a good place on Saturday in qualifying, there’s a little bit of a mixed feeling about this race because the pace was a lot better yesterday than it was today.

“We struggled a little bit more with the car and being able to lean on the tyres. I think the degradation was quite high and it was tricky to get the tyres under control and being able to push. So most of the race was about managing.”

Ocon scored a podium in Monaco the weekend before, which was the team’s first top three finish since the Qatar Grand Prix at the end of 2021.

“In general it’s been two great weeks for us,” added Ocon, “19 points scored on my side, a lot more for the team. I’m sure we can keep going forward like we’ve done in this last two.”

Alpine remain fifth in the constructors’ championship while Ocon is ninth in the drivers’ standings, 10 points ahead of Gasly.

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2023 Spanish Grand Prix

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Author information

Ed Hardy
In 2019, Ed started working on Formula 1 writing articles during race weekends. Alongside that, he also built up experience in football working on...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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1 comments on “Gasly expects Alpine to be “fighting for the top five soon” after Spanish GP”

  1. Hopefully, but I’m cautious with my expectations for them.

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