Pierre Gasly was left rueing his and AlphaTauri’s strategy gamble to start Formula 1’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix on full wet tyres, a decision he says “screwed” their chances of a strong result.

The Frenchman started fifth on the grid following another excellent qualifying that once again demonstrated the seriously fast car AlphaTauri has produced for this season.

But Gasly and his team saw the potential of a great result go begging on Sunday at Imola, having taken the risk to start on full wet tyres when a downpour hit the track shortly before the race.

Gasly was one of just four drivers who opted to start on wets and it soon became apparent that the intermediate tyre was the compound to be on as conditions improved early on.

“I need to have a look at the whole race,” said Gasly after the race on Sunday. “Obviously a lot of things happened and from the start, it was difficult for us. At some point, I guess we were screwed, as we were waiting for the track to be drier.

“It clearly didn’t work out for us at the start but then after the restart we had a couple of battles and managed to save a couple of points. We need to have a look, exactly, at what could have been better but for sure, it wasn’t a great Sunday for us.”

Gasly recovered to take eighth place at the flag - which turned into seventh following a penalty for Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll - but he was ultimately left disappointed after squandering an opportunity for a much stronger result.

“Honestly, [it was] very very difficult,” he added. “We decided to start with the wets, and I was in favour, the team was in favour, we thought we would try it and in the end it turned out we were the only ones out there and there was just no grip at all, really and extremely slow.

“At some point we were last in the race. So starting P5, it was clearly not what we expected and we wanted. And then after the restart I think I was P14, I tried to come back and use more of the pace of the car on the dry and we managed to save a couple of points and finish P8, but yes, for sure, it wasn’t a great afternoon for us.”

It was a frustrating weekend all round for AlphaTauri after Yuki Tsunoda spun out of the points while battling his way through from the back of the grid following his hefty qualifying shunt.

The Faenza-based squad leaves Imola fifth in the constructors’ championship and three points clear of Aston Martin having recorded eight points from the opening two rounds.

 

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