Pierre Gasly sounds very positive heading to the French Grand Prix this weekend arriving with a major aero upgrade on his AlphaTauri.
The French driver is optimistic about his chances of bringing home a great result at his home race this Sunday.
The 26-year-old has featured in the top 10 on three occasions so far this season, but this marks a decline in his performance statistics from 2021, when he had finished in the top ten an additional three times during the same period.
Gasly is currently sitting in 13th in the drivers’ standings, but with the incoming upgrade, he’s hoping to fight higher in the field this time out.
Speaking ahead of the weekend, he explained: “I always prefer to look ahead and I’m hoping things will get much better with the updates we will have on the car this weekend.
“They are mainly on the aero side, and they should deliver a real step up in performance, so I’m keen to try them out at Ricard, in the hope that they can put us back in the fight for points.
“It’s a special weekend as it’s my home race.
“In fact, we’ve organised a special Gasly grandstand at the chicane on the back straight for my fans. It’s nice to be able to do something a bit more personal and to connect with them a bit more than usual.
“It’s going to be a good atmosphere and I hope we can perform well enough to deliver a good result in front of the French crowd.”
Gasly’s teammate Yuki Tsunoda has had a rough few stints in his AT03, finish outside of the top-10 in the last five races, but similar to Gasly, he is aiming towards a return to Q3.
On top of this, the young driver is aiming to bring home points in France and said the improvements with help him on his route back to the midfield.
“I’ve raced a few times at Paul Ricard, in Euroformula and Formula 3, and last year’s Grand Prix was quite difficult for me, as I had to start from pit lane after getting it wrong in qualifying,” he said.
“It’s a track where you need a set-up that works well in mid-speed corners and it can be quite tricky because you have the high-speed straight and Signes corner, but also low- and medium-speed turns at the end of Sectors 1 and 3.
“Normally, this would highlight some weak points in our car, but we will have updates in France so hopefully that won’t be the case anymore. It’s really time we return to getting into Q3 to make it easier to score points on Sunday.
“We’ve gone for a major upgrade rather than lots of small ones. The new upgrade is focused on adding more load to the car, as we were quite weak in the medium to high-speed corners. Hopefully, it will bring us more consistency and allow us to fight at the top of the midfield again.”
Things will kick off on Friday with FP1 at 1:00 pm Irish time and FP2 at 4:00 pm, followed by FP3 at 12:00 pm on Saturday before things get serious in Qualifying at 3:00 pm ahead of lights out on Sunday at 2:00 pm.