AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly declared himself shocked by how slippery the Istanbul Park circuit was throughout Friday’s pair of Turkish Grand Prix observe classes. However the Frenchman hoped to make use of the uncertainty thrown up by the circumstances to his benefit, as he predicted a “spicy” qualifying session on Saturday.
Gasly, on his first ever outing on the Turkish observe, overcame a spin to take a robust P4 in Free Practice 1 on Friday morning, earlier than going seventh quickest in FP2, simply behind crew mate Daniil Kvyat – with Gasly saying that his AlphaTauri AT01 had been extra like a rallycross automotive within the slippery circumstances, a truth that might most certainly pressure his crew to revise their preliminary set-up predictions for the remainder of the weekend.
“I have to say this morning was fairly surprising,“ mentioned Gasly. “I loved it, it was actually enjoyable but it surely felt extra like rallycross quite than System 1! It does really feel totally different than what we’re used to feeling usually, so it was a fairly enjoyable option to uncover this observe.
“I believe the grip got here up just a little bit this afternoon and in addition with the softer compound,” he added, “however typically rather a lot slower and much more slippery than we anticipated, so I believe we have to revise a bit what we wish to do for quali and for the race with the automotive with all of the simulations we ran, as a result of we anticipated it to be quite a bit quicker than that.”
In the meantime, having taken a surprise fourth on the grid at Imola final outing, Gasly was predicting one other unsettled grid order in Saturday’s qualifying session.
“I can inform you it’s going to be spicy, that’s for certain, little doubt about that,” he mentioned. “We simply want to ensure we do our factor correctly. The tyres are taking part in such a giant issue; we will see it with the gaps being rather a lot greater than ordinary. Should you handle to get the tyres in the best window, you possibly can actually extract much more efficiency. There’s fairly much more issues we have to perceive, however hopefully we will make one other step ahead tomorrow.”
Having headed his team mate in FP2, in the meantime, Kvyat mentioned he anticipated this to be one other weekend the place “something can occur” – with Kvyat arriving in Turkey off the again of a strong fourth place within the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix two weeks in the past, as he fights to retain his AlphaTauri seat for subsequent 12 months.
“It was fairly excessive at some factors, very uncommon, however we’ve got what we’ve got, and we’ll work round it,” mentioned Kvyat.
“I believe it may be fairly fascinating ultimately. In these circumstances, something can occur. It’s chilly, the tyres… it’s not clear how they work, technique just isn’t going to be clear till the race, I believe. It is going to be a kind of ones once more the place something can occur.”
AlphaTauri are on the lookout for a robust end result this weekend, in the meantime, as they search to shut the 14-point hole to their sixth-placed compatriots Ferrari earlier than the season finish, with the Scuderia’s Charles Leclerc having ended FP2 in second place, behind the Pink Bull of Max Verstappen.