Fresh from a third-place finish at the rain-soaked Dutch Grand Prix just a week ago, Gasly didn’t mince words about Alpine’s A523 car. According to him, the vehicle simply didn’t have the chops to tackle Monza’s lengthy straightaways.
“When quizzed by F1 Flow.com about our performance, let’s just say I was generally pleased with how the car was handling, but we were consistently lagging by about two seconds,” Gasly recounted.
“We came into Monza fully aware that those long straights would be our Achilles’ heel. The harsh reality met our expectations. Of course, there was this glimmer of hope that maybe, just maybe, switching to hard tires could make a difference. Spoiler alert: it didn’t.”
In fact, Gasly felt that the mandated hard tires for Q1, under this weekend’s alternative tire allocation rules, actually worsened their situation.
“I’d go as far as to say that the hard tires were a disaster, quite frankly,” Gasly elaborated. “The car felt great on soft tires, not too shabby on mediums, but the hard tires felt like trying to do ballet in hiking boots. GPS data doesn’t lie; we were lacking where it mattered most.”
Gasly was quick to clarify that the weekend’s special tire regulations were not to blame. “Look, the real issue isn’t the tires or the rules. It’s just that we don’t have the speed, and there’s no sugarcoating that.”
“We showed up in Monza knowing our limitations and it’s evident that those weaknesses were exaggerated on this particular track,” Gasly added. “It’s a tough pill to swallow, but it also gives us a roadmap for next season. This track is its own beast and we have to adapt.”
Ocon Faced Unexpected Challenges
Esteban Ocon was also in for a wild ride, marked by an on-track collision with Lando Norris and an excursion through gravel that damaged his car’s floor on the final run. Ocon seemed more taken aback than Gasly about their unimpressive show in Q1.
When probed about his expectations, Ocon admitted, “Honestly, I thought we had a shot at at least moving on to Q2 and scrapping for a top position there. But the competition was more fierce than we anticipated. It’s a humbling reality check.”
He further added, “The session was far from ideal; I went all out on the first run and ended up damaging the floor for the second. When your teammate is just 0.003 seconds apart, you know you’ve tapped almost all the potential your car could offer. It’s disheartening that our best still falls short.”
Ferrari Clears the Air on Why Sainz and Leclerc Dodged FIA F1 Penalties
So there you have it, folks. A weekend of rude awakenings and somber reflections for Team Alpine. Will this be the wake-up call they need to amp up their game for next season? Time will tell.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Alpine F1 Monza Qualifying
What was Gasly’s performance in the Monza qualifying session?
Gasly finished in 17th place during the qualifying session at Monza. Despite being happy with the car’s balance, he stated that they were consistently two seconds behind the pace.
How did Esteban Ocon fare in the same session?
Esteban Ocon finished just behind Gasly in 18th place, missing him by a margin of only 0.003 seconds. Ocon had a challenging session, including an on-track clash with Lando Norris and a trip through gravel that resulted in a damaged floor for the final run.
What were Gasly’s views on the car’s performance?
Gasly was not satisfied with the Alpine A523’s performance on Monza’s long straights. He mentioned that hard tires made the situation even worse and emphasized that the speed of the car was the main issue, not the special tire rules for the weekend.
Were the drivers hopeful for a better outcome?
Both drivers were hopeful but realistic. Gasly indicated that he had some optimism that switching to hard tires might improve their situation, although that wasn’t the case. Ocon was more surprised by their poor performance and thought they would at least move on to Q2.
What does this mean for Alpine’s future?
The performance at Monza is a clear indicator that the team has some ground to cover, especially in tracks with long straights. Both Gasly and Ocon suggested that the experience should be a guide for how the team approaches similar tracks in the future.
Did the alternative tire allocation rules affect their performance?
According to Gasly, the alternative tire allocation rules for the weekend were not the issue. The primary concern was the car’s lack of speed, specifically on Monza’s long straights.
What was the most surprising element of the session?
The most surprising element was how close the two teammates were in their qualifying times, separated by only 0.003 seconds, yet both failed to advance past Q1. Ocon’s unexpected difficulties, including a collision and floor damage, were also notable.
More about Alpine F1 Monza Qualifying
- Gasly Finishes Third in Dutch GP
- F1 Italian Grand Prix: Sainz Takes Pole Position
- Alpine’s 2023 F1 Prospects
- Monza Circuit: A History and Overview
- F1 Tire Allocation Rules Explained
- Esteban Ocon’s Season Highlights
- Lando Norris: A Season in Review
- FIA F1 Penalties: What You Need to Know
- Alpine Team’s Season Performance Analysis
- Gasly and Ocon: Team Dynamics and Performance