Gasly hopeful Imola upgrades will propel AlphaTauri up F1’s pecking order

Pierre Gasly scored a ninth-placed finish in both Jeddah and Melbourne, but his performances might have yielded a little more had he been more fortunate.

AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly is hoping that the new upgrades his team are planning to implement in the coming races will have the desired effect, and stresses the importance of maintaining good development throughout this season.

The new technical regulations in Formula 1 have led to a completely different way of thinking for the teams this year, and they have had to reimagine the philosophy of how to construct a proficient race car on the straights and in the corners.

AlphaTauri have perhaps slightly fallen back this season, and the lack of reliability in the back of the car from the Honda-manufactured Red Bull engine has not been helping matters.

READ: ‘There are some mice in the machinery’: Webber concerned by Red Bull’s lack of reliability

However, the Red Bull sister team have some upgrades scheduled that may propel them closer towards the top of the midfield.

And in an ever-fluctuating midfield battle in which the teams are within extremely close proximity regarding performance, Gasly recognises that the AlphaTauri is not as slow as one might have perceived in the opening few races.

“We should have a couple of new parts on the car,” he told

“It’s not like we are dead slow, I still managed to get a good start running in P9 behind Esteban [Ocon in the Australian Grand Prix].”

Ultimately though, the Safety Car after Sebastian Vettel’s crash in Melbourne came out at the wrong time for Gasly, who found himself battling away with Lance Stroll and Valtteri Bottas, eventually finishing ninth.

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“After that, we just got unlucky with the Safety Car and dropped to 14th. So from there, obviously, it’s difficult,” he explained.

“I don’t think we are missing much. But we definitely need to come with some developments if we want to keep up with the other guys.”

Though he might have found himself battling with compatriot Ocon for seventh had it not been for the unfortunate Safety Car, he was pleased with ninth under the circumstances.

“It’s only the third race of the year,” he added.

“The car is going to develop over the next few weeks. I trust in the team and I trust in the upgrades that they’re going to bring.

“I think this weekend overall, compared to our main competitors, it’s been slightly harder. McLaren made a big step forward, Alpine as well, but I think we can be pleased with these two points, especially considering the unlucky timing with the Safety Car.”

Ferrari sporting director Laurent Mekies previously predicted that the cars will be at “pretty much the same” performance level in 2023 as they were in 2021, so Gasly recognises the significance of capitalising on the rapid evolution of the new cars this season.

“It’s obviously new cars, new regulations – we know that this season is all about development,” said the Rouen-born racer.

“The teams that are going to manage to develop the cars faster than others will have a better season.”

“I think it’s a big test for us as a team and, hopefully, it brings the performance we expect.”

AlphaTauri sit eighth in the Constructors’ Championship, 14 points behind fourth-placed McLaren at the top of the midfield.

But they will take heart from the fact that their performance has merited a lot more after a reliability failure for Gasly in Bahrain, and two for team-mate Yuki Tsunoda in Saudi Arabia, all but eliminating the Japanese from that weekend altogether.