Gasly still 'positive' despite poor Bahrain qualifying


Pierre Gasly's first qualifying session with Alpine was an unexpected washout, but the Frenchman remains positive for Sunday's race.

Gasly's performances in free practice suggested a reasonable chance of Alpine's new charger making the Q3 cut, a target achieved without much trouble by his teammate Esteban Ocon who qualified ninth.

But Gasly simply could not get his A523 up to speed in the incredibly tight first segment of the evening session, in which the entire field was separated by just 1.188s!

Gasly's best effort left him a desolate last in the pecking order.


"Clearly, this is not the start to the season we wanted, being knocked out in Q1," he conceded, putting on a brave face.

"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."

The former Red Bull charger was unable to pinpoint why he couldn't extract the required pace from his car.

"Unfortunately, I didn’t quite feel at one with the car today and that meant we were way below where our true level is," he explained.

"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."


Alpine sporting director Alan Permane was equally disappointed with Gasly's performance, especially as Ocon validated the A523's top-ten potential.

"Pierre is certainly disappointed to be out in Q1," said the Briton. "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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