The AT02 was competitive during yesterday's FP1 and FP2, the team were pleased with the improvements they've made for this race - the car has good pace, and both drivers have been making the most of it. This trend continued into FP3 today, but the field tightened as the other teams used different tactics to tackle qualifying which would be a close fight.
Yuki Tsunoda unfortunately had a bad day in Q1 as his lap was looking good before he lost control coming out of the chicane and collided with the wall, causing some damage.
Pierre Gasly had a far more straightforward Qualifying session, with little difficulty. He completed Q1 on one set of tyres and then started to use them effectively in Q2. In his final Q3 spring, he was able to put in a fantastic lap, getting the most out of the car.
Gasly's qualifying position reflects where it's believed the car will be this weekend.
According to Gasly, "I must say it was very good today, I’m really happy – the whole of Qualifying was a bit harder than in Bahrain, as I think quite a lot of teams have really upped the pace. I’m pleased I managed to put everything together in Q3 – it was an extremely clean lap – and to get the P5 at our home race here in Imola is a great result for the whole team."
He continues, "the gaps are extremely close – I think we’re just a couple of hundredths off Charles and just three or four-tenths from the top guys – so it’s a great achievement today and we’re in a good position for tomorrow."
He concludes, "We’ve got to prepare for every situation in the race – we could have some rain tomorrow, or maybe some drama up the front, so we’ve got to be ready to capitalise on every opportunity we can.”
The AT02 is in the middle of the pack and will be battling for good points on Sunday.