Alpine rues lack of pace for tough Imola race

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Emilia Romagna, Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrariit

Alpine drivers Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon rued the lack of pace of their car for a tough race weekend in Imola that saw the Anglo-French outfit unable to challenge for points.

Alpine had another difficult race weekend. Although both drivers managed to fight their way into the second qualifying session, showing encouraging pace over a single lap, Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon struggled for race pace on Sunday.

Ocon started from P12 on a set of new mediums, pitting for new hards on Lap 25. The one-time race winner finished the first European race of the season in P14.

“It was a difficult race today and, in the end, a tricky weekend overall. Ultimately, we lacked the pace to compete, and we did not have the speed to attack or defend, which limited our options in the race. We managed to hold position at the start but struggled to keep Lance [Stroll] behind in the beginning of the opening stint.

“Once he passed us, he pulled away and we could not maintain ground to the others. We tried to extend our first stint to benefit from any teams making a late pit-stop, but that did not happen. We were not in the fight this weekend, but we keep going and we go again next week in Monaco. I have great memories from last year, so we go there with a positive frame of mind,” said Ocon.

Gasly started from P15, opting for a set of new softs before performing an early stop for a set of new hards on Lap 8. He pitted again on Lap 30, receiving a set of new medium. He became the only driver alongside Fernando Alonso to use all three compound during the 63-lap race.

Complaining about the lack of race speed, the Frenchman said: “Unfortunately, we did not get it quite right today. We were not quick enough to compete higher up the grid and our intended strategy was too far away to pay off given how the race unfolded.

“In general, though, it felt like the car was less competitive than yesterday so we need to review as a team what we could have done better. Apart from that, the car felt more consistent at this track throughout the weekend so we need to make sure that we get the factors that we can control right. I’m looking forward to Monaco now, we have lots to analyse in the next couple of days to make sure we come prepared to the streets of Monte Carlo,” added Gasly.

Commenting on a tough race for Alpine, team boss Bruno Famin added: “It was a difficult race for the team in Imola today. We lacked pace and the alternative strategy we attempted with Pierre did not work as there were no incidents on track.

“The leaders of the race were very fast today and we were caught early on with blue flags, which cost us additional time. We need to focus on our own performance and analyse the data to understand our race pace deficit. We can only control the areas we have in our hands. Next week we return to the legendary Monaco.

“It’s a race with fond memories for the team from last year and we look forward to racing there again with a resilient and motivated attitude aiming for a good result.”