‘Aggressive’ Gasly pushing the limits in Baku

‘Aggressive’ Gasly pushing the limits in Baku

Pierre Gasly acknowledged he was pushing to the limit of what the car can do in today’s free practice sessions for this weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

The AlphaTauri driver was sixth fastest on Friday morning and improved a place after lunch, keeping him within just over four tenths of a second of the target set by Red Bull’s Sergio Perez.

Gasly was the fastest driver outside the combined ranks of Red Bull and Mercedes in today’d final standings and hope sto find more pace tomorrow in time for qualifying.

  • Read also: Perez and Verstappen on top in second practice – Mercedes falls back

“It’s been a very good Friday for us,” he dais, describing the day’s results as “a really positive”.

“At the moment I’m feeling very good in the car,” he confirmed. “I’m able to be quite aggressive and push the limits

“I went over too far once or twice but that’s how we find the line and extract the maximum from the car,” he added. “I don’t want to be cautious; we want to be aggressive and try to squeeze everything out of the car.

“It’s a pretty difficult track, very easy to make a mistake, and so we had to go step by step.,” he noted. “From the first laps I felt good, pushed a bit the limits, went a bit over the limits a couple of times, but that’s how we get the maximum out of the car

“I’m pretty pleased so far, especially because we did the lap without any slip streams so potentially there’s more pace available to us tomorrow,” he added.

“Always a few bits here and there that we can do better, so we‘ll try to be very precise with the changes we want to do because the car feels quite good, but hopefully we can make a step forward tomorrow

“Good day, very tired once again, and very excited to see what we can do in qualifying!”

© AlphaTauri

His team mate Yuki Tsunoda climbed to tenth place in the afternoon standings after a day full of minor incidents.

“It’s fairly similar to Monaco here,” the Japanese driver said. “You have to build up the pace and also confidence in the braking zones, as most of the corners need strong braking.

“I went into the run-off areas a few times, but it was good practice for me to find the limit and luckily I didn’t go into the wall!

“I think the progress from FP1 to FP2 was good, I struggled a bit in the morning, so it was a good step up in FP2.

“There are a few areas I still need to work on, but the pace is definitely there this weekend, we just need to put it altogether tomorrow.”

The team’s chief race engineer Jonathan Eddolls pointed out that Gasly had the advantage of greater experience on the Baku city street circuit.

“Pierre has driven here before but for Yuki it was his first time, in any category, and FP1 was a challenge for him,” he commented.

“The dirty and low grip track, combined with the wind, definitely had an impact on his initial performance,” he said. “We were quite happy with the car in FP1, although we could still see a number of areas to improve, so we made some set-up changes to both cars for FP2.

“This appeared to be a step in the right direction and was reflected in the short-run performance,” he continued. “The long-runs today were difficult when fighting with cars around as will be the case at the start of the race

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“But we have some good data now to analyse, which will help us understand where the limit is and we can then use that in our strategy model.

“Yuki did exactly what we asked of him, by the end of FP2 he was a close match to Pierre, and I am sure he will find more time in FP3 and Qualifying.

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