Pierre Gasly, Alpine, Monza, 2023

Double Q1 elimination “not good enough” for Alpine, say Gasly and Ocon

2023 Italian Grand Prix

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Alpine drivers Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon said their Q1 eliminations in qualifying were reflective of their car’s performance level at Monza.

The pair drivers failed to progress out of the first phase of qualifying for the first time in 2023 at Monza. Gasly was knocked out in 17th, just three-thousandths of a second quicker than team mate Ocon who will join him on the ninth row of the grid. It is Ocon’s second consecutive elimination in the first phase of qualifying.

Neither driver appeared inside the top ten positions in any of the three practice sessions. Despite taking a podium finish last weekend at Zandvoort, Gasly said the team expected to struggle during the Italian Grand Prix weekend.

“Unfortunately, all weekend, I was quite happy with the car balance but we’ve just been two seconds off the pace the whole time,” Gasly said.

“We knew coming here in Monza it will be the toughest weekend of the year with all these long straights, and it’s clearly been the case. We expected to be out in Q1, but you always have optimism that maybe with the hard tyre or something, you could get through. But that’s all we had unfortunately, and it’s been a difficult weekend so far.”

However Gasly insisted the Alternative Tyre Allocation format, which specifies the tyre compounds drivers must use in each phase of qualifying, had not affected their performance.

“Ultimately this weekend, this wasn’t the issue,” he said. “The problem has just been the speed and that’s what we lacked and that’s just a fair conclusion.”

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Ocon believes both he and Gasly likely went as fast as it was possible for them to go during qualifying.

“Today was not good enough,” said Ocon. “I tried to push the car a lot in run one, picked up a bit of floor damage for run two which wasn’t ideal.

“But all-in-all, we are three-thousandths apart from one car to another. So I think we pretty much maximised the potential today, and it is unfortunate that we are not quick enough.”

Heading into the race, Gasly does not expect his team to have an easier time on Sunday.

“From where we are, we’ve got to gamble a bit on something happening,” he said.

“Pure pace is not going to change tomorrow, but we’ll give our best chances and anything can happen until the last lap. We’ve got to try and and we’ll see, but it’s slightly different feeling than last week.”

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2023 Italian Grand Prix

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Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...
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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2 comments on “Double Q1 elimination “not good enough” for Alpine, say Gasly and Ocon”

  1. Well, I think this is quite timely and appropriate in their attempts to show the FIA and F1 that their engines need a little bit of tweaking.

  2. Not sure (other than it being a business case) why this team is still in F1. The results haven’t been there for decades. Meanwhile new entrants are getting a hard time. What’s wrong with this picture?

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