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Gasly: Alpine closer to the front than any F1 race this year

Pierre Gasly believes his Alpine Formula 1 team is making good progress and is more competitive in Monaco than it has been previously this season.

Pierre Gasly, Alpine A523

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer has been under pressure since his CEO Laurent Rossi made critical comments about the Enstone outfit’s ‘amateurish' form and mistakes that have been made.

With handy timing, Esteban Ocon qualified a surprise fourth in Monaco, while Gasly had a less than perfect session but still earned a respectable seventh place.

The former was boosted one position after Charles Leclerc was handed a three-place penalty for impeding Lando Norris.

“A very good day for the team, very positive step forward compared to the first few races and they did a very good job,” said Gasly when asked about the session by Motorsport.com.

“My side [is] obviously frustrated and disappointed with Q3, because we didn’t do the lap when we had to do it. Locked too much the rear, sliding way too much on some of the entries, but at the end of the day that’s what you have in Monaco.

“We’ll work from there, but overall I’m satisfied to see we’re making progress as a team.”

Asked if the car was better in qualifying that it had been earlier in the weekend, he said: “Let’s say there were times in quali where it was better, then slightly got worse depending on the out lap, etcetera.

Pierre Gasly, Alpine A523

Pierre Gasly, Alpine A523

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

“I think what I’m saying is overall we’re closer to the front than we’ve ever been so far this year, and that’s definitely positive. It means we’re getting more from the package we’ve got and that’s the most important.

“Hopefully we can build up from Miami, this is better and hopefully what we see from us in the coming races will be even better.”

Gasly said he didn’t understand why he lost performance in the latter part of qualifying.

“Just rear locked. Been struggling the whole weekend with that and fortunately Q2 we managed to get that under control and Q3 was again worse.

“I don’t really have answers for now but we’ll see. Today we still feel like it wasn’t a perfect job and then we are splitting two Mercedes, so you’ve got to look at it in an objective way and see we are making progress and work from there.”

Regarding Sunday’s race, he said: “It’s Monaco, if you tell me there are going to be 50 overtakes I’d say you’re crazy, but there is some sort of chances around the pitstop strategy depending on what you do and obviously some sort of unpredictability with safety cars.

“So we’ll have to maximise our chances and clearly a lot of points on the table for the team and we’ll try to get as many as we can.”

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