Gasly praises simulator work for first Q3 appearance

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Monaco, Monte Carlo Circuitmc

It was a strong day from Alpine as Pierre Gasly secured his and the team's first Q3 appearance in 2024. His team-mate Esteban Ocon was unable to reach the last qualifying segment, but he only fractionally missed it.

Pierre Gasly endured a shock start to his Monaco weekend as he spent the majority of the opening practice in the garage due to a power unit issue. However, the team managed to find a remedy for the technical issue which enabled the Frenchman to start to build up his confidence at the challenging Monte Carlo circuit.

The one-time F1 race winner put in a great effort in Q2 to make Q3 for the first time this year. Once there, he made a mistake on his only flying run on fresh softs but P10 is still a very decent starting slot at a track where overtaking is tricky at best.

“I’m very pleased we reached Q3 today for the first time this year. I took a lot of risks and touched the wall one time too many but these are the chances you have to take in Qualifying in Monaco.

"In the end, I’m pleased with the outcome, even if more was possible. We had to work hard yesterday and the simulator team back at Enstone did a great job to try out a few test items and suggest some changes to improve the car.

"We know Monaco is a track full of opportunities and we have put ourselves in contention to score points in tomorrow’s race. There’s still a long race ahead of us. We will need to be prepared for many scenarios with the target to come away with points for the team," concluded Gasly.

His team-mate Esteban Ocon looked quick in qualifying, ending the opening session in a promising position. He went on to display an encouraging performance in the next session, but a mistake on his last flying lap ended his progress.

"It’s been a very busy Qualifying day in Monaco. From my side, it’s definitely mixed feelings. There are positives as we made some good improvements to the car to really be in contention for the top ten in Qualifying.

"We got through Q1 comfortably but I made a mistake on my Q2 lap by locking up into Turn 1, which most likely cost us a spot in Q3. We had the pace and I pushed to the limits to optimise everything we had in hand and sometimes mistakes do happen.

"We are starting close to the points and there are always opportunities to take in Monaco. We will give it our all from where we are starting with the ambition of scoring points for the team," concluded Ocon.

Commenting on the first Q3 appearance of Alpine, team boss Bruno Famin said: “As a team, it is our first appearance in Q3 this season and that sets us up to have a positive race tomorrow afternoon. While we are satisfied there was certainly more on the table and having both cars in Q3 was realistic given our pace throughout Qualifying.

"Our drivers pushed hard as we expect from them. We made some improvements from yesterday through to today. Credit must be given to the simulator work at Enstone and our Reserve Driver Jack Doohan who did a great job overnight to try a few things out and improve the car set-up. Tomorrow we will assess our options on strategy. We will do what it takes to ensure the best possible team result," added Famin.