F1 | US GP | A difficult afternoon for AlphaTauri’s calls for a long night of analysis and set up changes
Formula One is back in the United States for the first time in two years and as much as drivers are excited, the Italian team has been struggling to find the right pace.
Formula 1 returns to the American continent for the first time since 2019 and begins the third triple header of the season at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas.
In 2021 there will be three events that will be contested in the American continent, beginning with the Grand Prix of the United States, followed by Mexico and Brazil.
Regarding the current race weekend, Pierre Gasly was enthusiastic about returning to race at COTA, however, he anticipated some concerns on the infamous bumps that the track has, which will be a headache for the drivers.
After the first two practice session of the weekend, Jonathan Eddolls, AlphaTauri’s Chief Race Engineer admitted that the “day proved more difficult than we’d anticipated” and definitely didn’t go to plan.
that’s the end of Friday practice! 🏁 we’ve got some work ahead of us to get back into the top 10 🇺🇸 @PierreGASLY - P12@yukitsunoda07 - P16 pic.twitter.com/kzFWDweyzD— Scuderia AlphaTauri (@AlphaTauriF1) October 22, 2021
Gasly ended the sessions in 6th and 12th position while Yuki Tsunoda was 18th and 16th in FP1 and FP2, respectively.
“The track is tough on tyres, especially on the rears, and that combined with the hotter than usual temperatures gave the tyres a very hard time,” said Eddols after Friday’s afternoon running.
“We really struggled with oversteer, so we tried a variety of set-up items across FP1 and FP2, but it was still difficult to find the stability that was required”.
AlphaTauri is certainly not the only team struggling with oversteer as many drivers spun and went off track throughout free practice – the first being Fernando Alonso, who caused an early red flag in FP1, Charles Leclerc and Kimi Räikkönen.
“We will need to review all the changes we have made today and refine the choices for tomorrow. We’ve got a good team of engineers so I am confident that we will understand the limitations from the data and return to our usual level of competitiveness for FP3” concluded Eddols.
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Frenchman Pierre Gasly is of the same opinion, claiming that Austin has probably been the worst track for the team so far this season:
“It’s been quite a difficult afternoon for us, the car just didn’t seem to click at all, so we’ve got a lot of work to do ahead of tomorrow.
I think this is the toughest FP2 we’ve had this season, it’s very strange as up until now we’ve been competitive everywhere, but it’s been very difficult here in Austin today.
“We’ll work hard tonight, I’m sure we definitely have more pace to find, and I’m confident we can be more competitive come Qualifying,” he concluded.
pushing hard to find the right setup while learning a new track isn't the easiest of tasks for @yukitsunoda07, and there's more work ahead tomorrow!— Scuderia AlphaTauri (@AlphaTauriF1) October 22, 2021
full team and driver quotes 👇
Yuki Tsunoda was more optimistic than his teammate. For him, Austin was a first-time drive hence he needed to get a grip of the track.
“It was a really enjoyable first day running here in Austin, this is obviously another new track for me but I think I’ve found a good approach quite quickly and it’s been fun to drive,” he said at the end of the second practice".
“However, there are lots of things for us to work on tonight, as the pace of the car so far isn’t quite there, and I’ve also struggled with track limits at Turn 19.
“We’ll analyse all the data and I believe we can be back to our strong performance again tomorrow,” concluded Tsunoda.