Italian GP: Preview – Alpine
6 mins read

Italian GP: Preview – Alpine

It was a bittersweet Dutch Grand Prix for Esteban Ocon as he dug deep to recover from his Q1 exit on Saturday to climb through the field and into the points on Sunday. Esteban was close to an even bigger haul of points as he aims to continue his progress in Italy.

What do you take away from what was a positive Sunday for the team in Zandvoort?
Esteban Ocon: For sure double points and a podium is a very good weekend for us so we are happy to have started this second part of the season this way. It was a good recovery drive from Pierre and I to come away with some valuable points and we head into this weekend with an extra spring in our step. There are definitely a few things we need to analyse and understand, as there were some opportunities missed on my side during the race which could have given us even more points. That said, overall, it was a positive weekend for the team and we will keep pushing to improve and move forward as best as we can.

What are your expectations for the coming races?
EO: It’s not a secret that we were not where we wanted to be going into the summer break. As a driver, my focus is purely on driving as best as I can and working hard with the team on developing the car to achieve the best results possible. As we saw in Zandvoort, we are a team that can seize opportunities when they are presented to us and we will keep working to achieve more good results. The goal will always be to have consistently good weekends and maximise the car in the remaining races. Everyone is motivated and keeping their heads down and we are already excited to get back on track this weekend in Monza.

Monza has always been one of the most popular races on the calendar. What makes this place so special?
EO: Monza, the Temple of Speed, is such an iconic and historic track and one of the oldest on the Formula 1 calendar. It’s completely different to Zandvoort as we navigate just 11 corners, seven of which make up the three chicanes that break up this classic high-speed circuit. There are some truly legendary corners here such as Curva Grande, Ascari and Parabolica, and it’s always exhilarating to drive around here. Personally, I really like this track, and driving in Italy in general, having spent a lot of time here in the junior days. The Tifosi make this race extremely special, and you can feel the passion of the fans. The whole team is excited to get our weekend started and we’ll be working hard together for more good results.

Pierre Gasly recorded his first Formula 1 podium for Alpine in Zandvoort last weekend after a cool and well measured drive to third place after starting twelfth. Now he heads to Monza, a place of fond memories for the Frenchman, for his semi-home race on his doorstep in Milan.

How does it feel to record your first podium in Alpine colours?
Pierre Gasly: I must say, I am still feeling ecstatic from last Sunday’s race! It was an incredible race, so up and down with the changing weather conditions and one of those races where you have to remain calm at the wheel. On our side, it was fantastic. We made some bold decisions, executed everything very well and came away with a deserved result. On the grid, we all knew there was a chance of rain for a short amount of time, it was just very difficult to judge the intensity of it and therefore we all opted for dry tyres for the race start. Then after a long period of dry weather, the rain returned and again we had to be ready to make the right decisions, which we did. The entire team deserves this result and it was a great feeling for me to see the faces of everyone after the race in celebration and I’m looking forward to seeing everyone at Enstone and Viry in the coming weeks. I hope this serves as a confidence booster for all of us and hopefully we can have more results like this.

What did you make of the team’s performance and execution overall during the weekend?
PG: Obviously, the end result is one thing, but, in general, I would say it was a positive weekend for us. It was not an easy Saturday to be out in Q2 by under one tenth of a second from Q3 and there’s more we can do to extract more from the car on single lap pace. We have seen the car performing well in the wet during the season – like in Monaco, Spa and now Zandvoort – and that bodes well for future races in case there are more wet sessions. It was the first weekend of a couple of changes to the trackside team and everything worked pretty well. There’s a positive energy in the garage – made even better by the podium – and we all now look forward to Monza.

Italy is a special place for you, how much are you looking ahead to Monza?
PG: I have spent a lot of my life in Italy and now I live in Milan, so of course, it’s a very special place for me. The Italian Grand Prix is a semi home race for me since I stay at home for the race weekend, so that is very nice! Monza is the place of my first win in Formula 1 in 2020 and I have very fond memories of that. It was a truly special day and one I will remember forever. That was a few years ago now, and the target is to one day repeat that result, but, in the meantime, we will remain realistic on what is possible this weekend. It will be a challenging weekend but we have some confidence and momentum right now. We’ll work hard in our preparation, aim for a solid Friday and tee ourselves up for a strong weekend from there.

#Italian #Preview #Alpine

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