Pierre Gasly enjoyed one of his best Fridays as a Formula 1 driver after ending both practice sessions at Imola inside the top five.

AlphaTauri showed an impressive turn of pace during Friday practice for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Gasly finished third fastest overall in FP2, just a tenth shy of pacesetter Valtteri Bottas.

Reflecting on his day’s running at Imola, Gasly said: “I think it was one of our best Fridays, P5 this morning, P3 this afternoon, so close to the top guys, it has been a really good day for us, I felt really good in the car from the first lap I managed to push pretty hard, drive the way I want, and I think we are looking pretty good.”

Despite being so close to the Mercedes pair in both practice sessions, Gasly is keeping his eye on Ferrari, McLaren and Alpine, rather than the reigning world champions.

“I think we have got to stay quite calm and focus on our target. We know the Mercedes have a lot faster car than we have and they have margin - they were on mediums, but I think we are focusing on ourselves, trying to understand how to improve our car, improve our pace compared to our main rivals which I guess is Ferrari, McLaren and maybe Alpine.

“So far I think it has been a good Friday but hopefully we can find a bit more for tomorrow.”

After suffering a power unit-related issue in FP1, Yuki Tsunoda enjoyed a positive second session - ending the day seventh fastest.

“This session was a lot better than the FP1, which we had a little bit issue with the engine so I just did four laps total, push laps, I couldn’t do much push lap in FP1 but it went well, engine was solved, and also I did race sim and quali sim.. performance run, so that was quite good,” Tsunoda added.

“I learn especially race management, like tyre management, I got quite a interesting data from the soft tyre race management so we’ll analyse that, and see what happens. I think for now I’m just building up the pace, which I couldn’t do in FP1, so hopefully, it will be better in FP3, but we’ll see.”

 

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