AlphaTauri’s drivers played down the role the team’s test at Imola earlier this year might have played in their best qualifying result of the season so far.
Pierre Gasly and Daniil Kvyat will start tomorrow’s race from fourth and eighth respectively, which is the best starting positions both drivers have achieved all year.
The team conducted a filming day with their current car at Imola before the season began. These are limited to a maximum of 100 kilometres and teams must use special demonstration tyres.
Kvyat said the run was not “any big advantage” for the team. “I don’t think it was representative,” he said.
“We did only a few laps and with completely [different] tyres. There was not much testing purpose in there. I think it was good for the guys to know something about the track but in the end the set-up and everything still had to work today.”
A two-day schedule is being trialled at this weekend’s race, meaning teams only had a 90 minute practice session on Saturday morning to dial their cars in before qualifying.
“Everyone did a good job,” said Kvyat. “We weren’t far away, straight away. The car felt good today, everyone did a good job in the team. The car was fast and tomorrow we hope to be fast again in the race conditions.”
Gasly, who equalled the best starting position of his career with fourth on the grid, admitted “it was a nice decision to come here” for their filming day, but also said they didn’t gain much from it.
“It was 15 laps, far from the pace we had to go today. So it was not really representative but it was a good to have a first idea of the track layout and kerbs, et cetera.”
Having finished fifth at the previous round in Portugal, Gasly said the team’s performance in Imola was “probably a mix of many things”.
“The car has been feeling good straight away out of the box in practice. We carried over the findings from Portimao and the last few races and the package seems to work well on this track.”
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2020 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix