BWT Alpine F1 Team faced double disappointment at Monza today as both Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly exited Q1 in Qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix.
In the second Alternate Tyre Allocation (ATA) weekend of the season, all cars were mandated to use Hard tyres in Q1. Both drivers struggled on their first runs with Esteban having a lap-time deleted for track limits at Turn 10, which, in turn, caused minor damage to his floor.
On their second runs, both drivers improved, Pierre finishing in seventeenth with a lap time of 1min 22.545secs and Esteban just 0.003secs behind in eighteenth.
Tomorrow’s Italian Grand Prix begins at 15:00 where the team aims to gain places with both cars.
Esteban, P18, 1:22.548secs; Pierre, P17, 1:22.545secs
Esteban Ocon: “Obviously, it’s very disappointing to exit Q1 today. It was clear that our package was not quite suited to this track and I feel like both cars maximised their potential today, finishing with very similar lap times. It’s up to us to really pin down the causes, which led to this lack of performance and I am sure we will find some solutions going forwards. In the meantime, the focus shifts to tomorrow and coming up with a plan to fight our way up the field to salvage something from this weekend. I am sure we can race much better tomorrow and we look forward to the fight.”
Pierre Gasly: “We knew this was going to be a tough day as a team and unfortunately that is the case with both cars out in Q1. Obviously, that’s a disappointing feeling and not where we want to be but tomorrow is the race and we will see what we can do to advance. We know the areas where we are lacking pace – it has been the focus for us this weekend in practice – but ultimately, this circuit does not suit our overall package and that has shown today. We have work to do tomorrow but we will see what we can do on strategy and aim for a positive race.”
Matt Harman, Technical Director: “It’s been a tough day for the team today with both cars out in Q1, which, of course, is disappointing for all of us. We entered the race weekend knowing it probably was not going to be one of our strongest of the season given the characteristics of this circuit and knowing where the strengths of our overall package are best suited. We’ve experimented with some things in Practice and we arrived in Qualifying with the best available set-up to maximise lap-time. With both cars very similar in lap-time, split by just 0.003seconds, that goes to show there was not much left on the table today from both drivers. Tomorrow is the race and we will give it everything we can to gain some places.”