AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly has said Qatar gave him a taste for the front row – after numerous penalties saw the Frenchman lifted into second behind Lewis Hamilton.
The team had an impressive run over the recent triple-header, finishing fifth in Mexico, and fourth in Brazil and Qatar.
Speaking about the last battle at the Losail International Circuit, the 25-year-old said: “In overall terms, the last triple-header went very well for us, with strong Qualifying performances.
“We also had good races, apart from the Sunday in Qatar, when the car did not go well, destroying the tyres very quickly. Of course, with the team we have now studied the reasons for that in the hope it won’t repeat itself.
“Unfortunately, in the Championship the position is more complicated, as Alpine had a good weekend in Qatar. It was great to be on the front row again, the first time since I raced in Super Formula in Japan in 2017, and being there alongside Lewis was very cool.
“I hope there will be more of those moments in the future. Even though I was there slightly by default, we have come close a few times this year and it was a good experience. I got a taste for it!”
Talking about the challenges the next race will throw at the team in Saudi Arabia, Gasly says the only impression anyone will have is from simulation runs, and so it’ll be interesting to see what each of the outfits brings to the Jeddah Corniche Circuit.
With high-speed corners and having a brand new track surface, it looks as if the three practice sessions will be vital for the drivers this weekend.
“Judging from what I saw on the simulator, Saudi will be extremely quick, with a large number of very high-speed corners, some of them blind,” Gasly explained.
“I think it’s going to be very complicated from a driving point of view and there will be the extra challenge of the track surface being completely new.
“No cars have ever raced on it, there will be no rubber down and probably some oil will still be coming out of the tarmac, which is what normally happens at a new circuit.
“So, we are looking at a street circuit with quite low grip, which is a new challenge as no one has any data from the track. But for our part, we showed in Qatar that we can adapt fairly quickly to a new situation, running near the front immediately from the Friday.
“However, we will have to work hard to be quick over a single lap and also a long-distance, to find the right compromise for both Saturday and Sunday.
“Another thing that is clear from the simulator is that the speeds are very high, but the walls are very close, so it should be impressive from the cockpit and a nice challenge, which we must prepare as well as possible for.”