Tuesday, June 15, 2021

2021 Portuguese Grand Prix – Free Practice Scuderia AlphaTauri

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Pierre Gasly (AT02-05, Car 10)
First Practice Session
Best lap: 1:20.444, pos. 6th, 31 laps
Second Practice Session
Best lap: 1:20.558, pos. 11th, 34 laps
“It’s been quite a difficult day, the car doesn’t feel that good so tonight we need to analyse everything and see what we need to do to improve, as we’re not currently utilising our full potential. Compared to the last few races, we’re really struggling on braking in the low-speed areas, so we need to look at what we’ve changed. Obviously, the conditions and layout are very different here – it’s quite slippery – so we might need to make some different adjustments to usual. The midfield is so tight at the moment that we have to work on this a lot tonight to find the extra time for tomorrow – two or three tenths at the moment can lose you six or seven places, come Qualifying, so it really is crucial. I think I’ve been in Q3 for the last five or six races so I really want to continue that train and I’m confident we can make some changes tonight so that can happen again tomorrow.” 

Yuki Tsunoda Scuderia AlphaTauri Portugal
PORTIMAO, PORTUGAL – APRIL 30: Yuki Tsunoda of Scuderia AlphaTauri and Japan during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Portugal at Autodromo Internacional Do Algarve on April 30, 2021 in Portimao, Portugal. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202104300998 // Usage for editorial use only //

Yuki Tsunoda (AT02-06, Car 22)
First Practice Session
Best lap: 1:21.090, pos. 13th, 27 laps
Second Practice Session
Best lap: 1:21.053, pos. 14th, 33 laps
“Today was the first time that I’ve driven the track here in Portugal and I really enjoyed it – especially the up-and-down areas of the circuit – and I’ve learnt quite a bit in the two sessions today. There’s a lot of new elements to understand, there’s really low grip levels compared to Bahrain and Imola, so at first I struggled to adapt to that but I think I managed to learn fairly quickly and my progression through the day has been good. I’m continuing to build the pace in the car and tonight I’ll look through the data with my engineers, analysing the set-up of the car, and then tomorrow I hope to put it altogether for Qualifying.”

Scuderia AlphaTauri Portugal
PORTIMAO, PORTUGAL – APRIL 30: Pierre Gasly of France driving the (10) Scuderia AlphaTauri AT02 Honda on track during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Portugal at Autodromo Internacional Do Algarve on April 30, 2021 in Portimao, Portugal. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202104300981 // Usage for editorial use only //

Jonathan Eddolls (Chief Race Engineer)
“It wasn’t quite as successful a Friday as we were hoping for, or that we’ve become accustomed to maybe. For FP1, our focus was on the medium and hard compounds, alongside some aero testing on Pierre’s car. Yuki spent the morning session learning the track, as he’s never driven here before, and we came out of that session relatively happy with the car and the performance. Likewise, going into the start of FP2 on the Mediums, we were quite comfortable with the pace of the car. We then moved to the soft tyre, which has been an issue for us as we weren’t able to extract the pace from the car that we would’ve liked. The conditions here are very challenging with the wind – there was a tailwind on most of the corners and then a headwind on the start/finish straight, which doesn’t make it easy for the drivers. Tonight, there will be quite a lot of work for us to do to understand why we’ve struggled on the Softs – I think that’s going to be the key for us going into tomorrow.”

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