Pierre Gasly has suggested that not feeling "at one" with his new Alpine car contributed to his P20 qualifying result at the Bahrain Grand Prix.
The Frenchman was knocked out of the session in a closely-fought Q1, with his lap time putting him in last place on the grid. Teammate Esteban Ocon, meanwhile, will start the race from P9.
Gasly admits that he has his work cut out to make his way through the field, though is taking the positives from having nothing to lose.
"Clearly, this is not the start to the season we wanted, being knocked out in Q1," Gasly explained after qualifying.
"That said, it means we have everything to gain for tomorrow's race and I'm definitely feeling positive that we can still
come away with points from this weekend.
"Unfortunately, I didn't quite
feel at one with the car today and that meant we were way below where
our true level is.
"There's a lot of work ahead of us to continue our
understanding of the car and I'm confident we will come back stronger
for our next qualifying session.
"My focus is on tomorrow and I'm really looking forward to the race and giving it my all."
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Alpine: The car had much more pace
Alan Permane, Sporting Director at Alpine, acknowledged that the team would have to "review" what happened for Gasly in qualifying at the Bahrain International Circuit.
"Overall, we have mixed feelings after today's first qualifying of the season with Esteban in ninth and Pierre in 20th," Permane commented.
that's not where we aim to be, and we certainly have improvements to
make to ensure we're qualifying in much stronger positions at later
"Pierre is certainly disappointed to be out in Q1. We have a lot
to review on his side to understand what happened as clearly the car had
much more pace than that.
"Esteban did a very good job and had three
smooth sessions, though, looking at the timesheets, ninth place is
probably where we deserve to be today.
"We're definitely ready for
tomorrow's race as our high fuel running looked good in pre-season
testing and in Free Practice 2 yesterday.
"Pierre can set his sights forward from the back of the grid as this race tends to have plenty of overtaking. For Esteban, he's well in contention and there's no reason why we cannot come away from here with good points."
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