Pierre Gasly is braced for a difficult weekend with Alpine as the team’s Friday running left a lot to be desired.
Neither Alpine was able to break into the top 10 in either FP1 or FP2. Gasly secured Alpine’s best result in FP2, ending 13th some 1.3 seconds adrift Carlos Sainz’s benchmark in the Ferrari.
While ‘unspectacular’, Gasly was relieved that Friday’s running had at least been productive. “On-track it’s been a pretty solid if unspectacular day for us, where we ran through a specific programme filled with plenty of learning for the team,” he said.
“The timesheets are of course not where we aim to be, that said, we know the areas we need to improve and hopefully tomorrow we will be in a stronger position.
“There’s a long way to go in the weekend and now we’ll analyse the data from today and find a good direction on set-up ready for Qualifying.”
Reflecting further on his Friday running, the Frenchman said: “It was a tough day. We knew we would struggle on a track like Monza, but I think we struggled more than we expected.
“We are losing a lot of time down the straights and we are on the lowest downforce we have so it will be a difficult weekend. We will try to maximise everything [on Saturday] to be as close to the top ten as possible for Sunday. But clearly, we are struggling.
“I think overall, in terms of car balance we aren’t far off. There are always a few things we can improve to find a bit of performance but we have some work to do.”
Gasly and Alpine entered the Italian Grand Prix off the back of a podium in Zandvoort. Gasly had crossed the line in fourth after the final restart, but a time penalty for Sergio Perez promoted the 27 year-old to the final place on the rostrum.
The result provided some much needed points for Alpine who sit sixth in the standings. The team were able to chip away at the advantage held by McLaren with the gap to fifth back down to 38 points.
Monza is a happy hunting ground for Gasly who claimed a maiden victory at the circuit in a thrilling iteration of the Italian Grand Prix in 2020 when driving for AlphaTauri.