Pierre Gasly Best Of The Rest In Hungarian Qualifying

2021 Hungarian Grand Prix, Saturday - Pierre Gasly (image courtesy Scuderia AlphaTauri)
2021 Hungarian Grand Prix, Saturday - Pierre Gasly (image courtesy Scuderia AlphaTauri)

Pierre Gasly has put in an impressive qualifying performance at the Hungarian Grand Prix, putting his car in P5 to make him the ‘best of the rest’ after Mercedes and Red Bull locked out the front two rows.

While it was a great day for Gasly, his teammate Yuki Tsunoda failed to make it out of Q1, and will start from 16th on the grid.

Pierre Gasly Surprised With P5

Pierre Gasly was surprised, but naturally delighted, to qualify in P5 after the Frenchman expected to be trailing the Ferrari’s around the high-speed Hungaroring.

“I’m extremely happy with today, it’s a pretty good feeling to be the first car behind Mercedes and Red Bull. We were quite surprised to be ahead of Ferrari, who have been looking really strong, so I’m really pleased with our performance today. It’s not going to be an easy race for us, we know that in terms of race pace some of the cars around us are stronger, but we knew grid positioning would be really important and we’ve put ourselves in the best possible place to fight tomorrow. I’m really excited for the battle with Charles and Lando, we know it’s hard to overtake here so we’re going to keep our elbows out and try and hold on to fifth position,” said Gasly.

2021 Hungarian Grand Prix, Saturday - Pierre Gasly (image courtesy Scuderia AlphaTauri)
2021 Hungarian Grand Prix, Saturday – Pierre Gasly (image courtesy Scuderia AlphaTauri)

Yuki Tsunoda Struggling In Hungary

It’s not been the best weekend for Yuki Tsunoda, who has struggled to come to grips with his car in Hungary, and as a result, was knocked out in Q1.

“This whole weekend I’ve struggled with the balance of the car, so it’s been quite difficult. We maximised track time in FP3, to make up for the time that I lost yesterday. I felt that I built up the pace well and was able to put together a good lap. I went into Qualifying with confidence and I think my lap was also good, even if I felt I was still lacking grip. I don’t quite understand how I lost that much time to my teammate, so I will need to sit with my engineers tonight and look at the data ahead of the race. I really like this circuit, having driven here the last few years, so it’s frustrating to not be starting further up the grid tomorrow,” added Tsunoda.

Team Delighted With P5 Start

For Chief Race Engineer Jonathan Eddolls starting from fifth is a dream, and the team are hoping for another strong points haul tomorrow.

“It was a fantastic Qualifying session for the team today, with Pierre finishing at the front of the midfield and starting tomorrow in P5! It wasn’t the easiest of FP3 session, as the red flag on his run on the new Softs impacted the tyres for when he ran again. So, we weren’t able to show the best performance in FP3, but the team analysed the tyres and setup well, so we could bounce back for Quali and Pierre drove to the limit throughout. By setting such a good lap in Q1 it meant he could save a set to use in Q3 and this was what made the difference, as he was able to improve on his final run and was only 62ms away from P4. The wind was changing throughout the session and this made it more difficult to extract the performance every lap, as each corner the car was affected differently, which in turn caused the sliding and increased tyre temperatures, making the car harder to drive. Looking ahead to tomorrow, all cars around are on the Softs, as we are, so we should have a good opportunity to score points. For Yuki it was always going to be more difficult as he missed pretty much the entire FP2 on Friday. He made steady improvements throughout Qualifying but was never as confident with the car as Pierre was. Although we did everything we could with the setup to improve that, it wasn’t enough for him to progress through to Q2. We will have to weigh up all the strategy options tonight, but given how difficult overtaking is here, unless anything happens it will be a big challenge for him tomorrow,” concluded Eddolls.

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