Pierre Gasly is bullish over AlphaTauri's prospects for the remainder of 2021 given the team's "positive trend" in F1's recent trio of consecutive races.
Gasly enjoyed strong qualifying sessions in Spa, Zandvoort and Monza, but the Frenchman – like AlphaTauri teammate Yuki Tsunoda – suffered a catastrophic Sunday in Italy where both drivers were sidelined even before the start of the race by separate technical issues.
However, there was no doubting the good level of performance of the Faenza-based squad's AT02 during F1's post-summer break triple-header.
"The weekend ended very badly for the team, for me and for Yuki after our performance had been very good leading up to the race and I had a super qualifying," said Gasly, recalling his Monza troubles.
"It was a real shame, but there has been a positive trend after the summer break as our performance level was very good at all three races since then.
"It bodes well for the rest of the season, as I believe we can be competitive at all the remaining races.
"In a way, it was good that we took the engine penalty in Italy and so hopefully we can get to the end of the season without having more."
Gasly took advantage of the one-week break after Monza to recharge his batteries with friends and family before heading to Sochi where the Frenchman enjoyed a top-ten finish last year.
"I enjoyed having a bit of a break because the triple-header was very intense, with no time to do anything in between the races and you can’t train as hard as you would do normally," he said.
"A small break is particularly good for everyone in the team, before starting up again and apart from the usual work in the simulator, I was able to spend a bit of time in France with my family.
"Sochi next, where last year I got to Q3 and finished in the top 10. I quite like the track, even if the layout features a lot of corners that are very similar to one another.
"The last sector is quite technical, the long straights mean you get some nice fights and overtaking moves."