The 2021 season of the Italian team, AlphaTauri, seemed promising, given the excellent performances glimpsed during the three days of testing in Bahrain, but the reality after 4 races is discouraging for the Faenza team and its drivers.
Pierre Gasly collected only 8 points until now, a seventh place at Imola was his best result, and the team currently occupies the sixth position in the constructors' championship, with 10 points.
Last weekend in Barcelona was very complicated for the AlphaTauri team, starting from qualifying, with Tsunoda out in Q1 and Gasly qualified in twelfth position, until Sunday.
The Japanese driver was forced to retire his car, due to a mechanical issue, while Gasly was punished with a 5-second penalty served in the pit for incorrect positioning on the starting grid.
Despite this, the French driver managed to recover part of his race, finishing in tenth position and scoring a point.
"I'm really upset with myself because it was very silly penalty,” he said to Motorsport.com.
“I always try to gain every millimetre I can, knowing that maybe you can have a small advantage for the start and the first corner."
“But this one I just went too far. And it cost me five seconds in a very silly way. And in the end, I finished only 10th behind Ocon. So obviously I'm upset with it," he added.
“First part of the race, following all the cars, was very, very hard. And I think it's something we need to improve. Also when it was a bit more windy, just very, very difficult. And then, in that last laps, I had a lot of cars to pass. I must say it was quite exciting. And some good battles."
“I was quite frustrated to come that close from P9 at the end, but I think it was still a great recovery. But ultimately, at the end, we are just lacking pace compared to the first two races," the Frenchman stated.
“And that's something we need to understand because we just dropped back in the order compared to the start of the year. And I think there's a bit of work for us.”
For Gasly, now, the goal is to do well in Monaco, albeit with the awareness that the AT02 will struggle on the city circuit.
The Frenchman admitted that, at the moment, it's difficult to match the progress of Ferrari and McLaren.
“Monaco, I do feel that it's such a particular track that might be slightly different, but there are clear areas where we need to improve," he declared.
“The car is not bad, it has potential, but is it just we haven't really managed to make it work everywhere in all type of corners, and just get like a smooth sort of car balance all around the lap."
“So we always have like strength and quite big weaknesses, which I think we should improve. We're going to work, I trust in the team and I believe we're going to make some step forward in the coming races," he said.
“Obviously in the low speed it's generally a bit more mechanical than aero, but also the aero platform can have some impact there."
“All process to go through to really understand what we need to do better in this type of corners. But Ferrari and McLaren are making big step forward. We need to keep up if we want to be able to battle a bit further in that midfield,” he concluded.