“I think the team definitely showed last year they were probably the best team in terms of development through the year, so there’s a good understanding and correlation between the upgrades they’re bringing on the racetrack.
“So it’s just a matter of time until we see new parts coming on the car and obviously there is also this part of understanding between the team and myself, really understanding what I need out of a race car to extract the maximum of it.
“Generally speaking, the overall performance hasn’t been as good as we aim for, and we’ll work to make that better over the next few races.”
During the winter Alpine underlined its primary target was to consolidate the fourth position it earned in 2022 and reduce the huge deficit that existed to the top three teams from last season.
However, Aston Martin’s emergence as a podium-scoring force has demoted Alpine in the pecking order and left the Enstone outfit with some early ground to make up to achieve its pre-season aspirations.
The Anglo-French squad’s A523 package appears to again have the measure of the rest of its midfield rivals but Gasly has his sights set on challenging for bigger points hauls down the line.
“I wouldn’t say that I’m pleased because we obviously want to fight higher up the grid and it feels like so far we’re a bit in no man’s land behind the top four teams,” Gasly said ahead of Australia.
“I had a bit of the midfield behind us, even though it’s really close, but we are still chasing and trying to get closer to those front runners.
“But generally, I think it’s been an OK start, a decent start, but as a team we want to be fighting for bigger points,” he added.
Despite enduring a troublesome start, McLaren took advantage of a pointless showing from Alpine in Australia to leapfrog its main competitor from last season into fifth.
After two consecutive ninth-place finishes, Gasly had been on course to register an impressive fifth place in Melbourne until a late standing restart saw him clumsily take out both Alpine cars.
While reliability hasn’t been a concern across the opening three rounds of 2023 like it was for the majority of last season, once again a plethora of factors have denied Alpine from exploiting the full potential of its package.
Esteban Ocon’s three-penalty run to an eventual retirement at the opening round in Bahrain means Alpine has only been able to execute a clean weekend in Saudi Arabia.
With McLaren set to debut its extensive upgrade package at the next round in Azerbaijan, Alpine could end up ruing not establishing a more comfortable grasp over fourth place.