Pierre Gasly concedes the track alterations in place for this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix are likely to hamper Alpine’s chances.
After encountering a challenging first half to his debut season with the team since his winter switch from AlphaTauri, Gasly headed into the summer break having secured third place in the Belgian Grand Prix Sprint Race.
The one-time Formula 1 race winner continued that positive momentum after the shutdown, recording a third-place finish during the full-distance Dutch Grand Prix.
Alpine endured a miserable weekend at Monza last time out, however, with neither car progressing beyond Q1 before not troubling the points at any stage in the race.
But having spent an extensive day in the simulator during the break, Gasly is optimistic that the Enstone squad will enjoy a return to form at the upcoming double header in Singapore and Japan.
“As a team we really experienced the highs and lows of racing across the last two events,” Gasly explained in Alpine’s Singapore Grand Prix preview.
“The podium in Zandvoort was fully deserved and we had a reasonable package there to compete for solid points.
“In Monza, we expected it to be a challenge and, unfortunately, we lacked performance and could not put ourselves in contention.
“We had a very productive day on the simulator last week and I think we are in better shape for the next two races where we aim to return to the points.
“It won’t be an easy two weeks across two very different tracks with very different demands and conditions, but I’m ready for it and certainly looking forward to getting out there and racing.”
However, Gasly is wary that the changes to the track layout at the Marina Bay Circuit will not play favourably towards Alpine, who struggled for top-end speed at Monza.
The sequence of corners between Turns 16-19 have been replaced by a single straight, reducing the overall lap time by up to 10s.
“I think Singapore could be an opportunity, but they have taken some corners away, which is not necessarily going in our direction,” he added via Auto Hebdo.
“Mexico is maybe another opportunity – we’ll see. We will give our best every weekend, but we have a clear idea of the types of circuits on which we are more or less competitive.”
Meanwhile, Esteban Ocon, who retired from the Italian Grand with a steering issue, heads to Singapore echoing his team-mate’s confidence that Alpine will bounce back.
“Monza was a weekend of learning for us,” Ocon explained. Since then, we have sat down, kept our heads down and analysed the reasons why we lacked performance and how we can learn from that for future events.
“We remain positive and we are confident we can make a strong comeback in Singapore, a track that should better suit our car.
“We’ll keep our heads down and work hard to have a more competitive weekend.”