Alpine newcomer Pierre Gasly lamented a poor Italian Grand Prix at Monza, as the car struggled for pace far more than expected, especially on the straights of the iconic circuit.
A Q1 exit during Saturday’s qualifying session for both Gasly and teammate Esteban Ocon, revealed worrying signs at the unsettled Enstone outfit, a clear lack of any real pace evident.
During the race, Gasly would eventually be lapped by race leader and world champ Max Verstappen, with Ocon’s car then being forced to retire from a steering problem. The team were expecting a lack of pace and performance in Monza, but the race and eventual result seemed to be a little worse than expected.
Reflecting on the weekend past, once a winner at Monza, Gasly said: “It’s been super painful, I don’t think we have ever had such a lack of competitiveness compared to our rivals. We knew straight away from the start of the season that it would be a painful one. But yeah, it was clearly very difficult out there.
The performance in Italy is another harsh reminder that Alpine’s car this year struggles a lot with low downforce tracks, and it’s an issue that the team are adamant about resolving for the 2024 F1 season.
Pierre: For 2024 we need a more rounded package which works everywhere
“The most important thing is really to understand and quantify where that drop of in performance is coming from and come back next year with a stronger package,” Gasly continued, “Because I’m going past Sainz last week on track, same tyres, on pure pace, and this weekend he’s standing on the podium, and I’m almost a lap down.
“We knew it’s a very power-sensitive track, but still, it seems like it’s not only [that], it’s the whole package, which has got to be better for this track. I think we will have another update coming quite soon.
“There is clear trend in terms of the type of tracks where we are more and less competitive. And I think that’s something we need to work on for next year, to just have a package, more rounded package which works everywhere,” the French driver concluded.
Alpine currently sit sixth in the 2023 F1 Constructors’ standings, behind main rivals McLaren. The Enstone base have developments in prospect, but only time can tell if it can all truly pay off. All this amid an uncertain future after the senior management axing shortly before the summer break