Pierre Gasly was surprised at McLaren’s “big jump” in Austria but says Silverstone could be a different story
Alpine is bringing a new front wing to Silverstone, which Gasly tells TG is one of his favourite circuits
Alpine is set to bring a new front wing design to the British Grand Prix as it looks to fend off a resurgent McLaren in the F1 constructors’ championship, and Pierre Gasly has admitted that he was a little shocked at Lando Norris’ pace last time out in Austria.
“That was a bit surprising,” Gasly told TG. “You know, usually you’re trying to gain a couple of hundredths of a second, and if you get like a tenth of a second from one race to another it's already a big step, but they’ve made a big jump.
“But then at the same time they’ve always been fast in Austria. So, I want to see at Silverstone how that works out.”
Alpine currently sits fifth in the constructors’ standings, but with 47 points there’s a danger that McLaren (currently on 29 points) could leapfrog the Enstone team this weekend as Oscar Piastri receives the same updates as Norris ran in Austria.
“I would say at the moment the main focus is just on ourselves and developing what we can control,” said Gasly. “But yeah, we definitely need to close that gap with the guys ahead of us.
“The front wing is going to be slightly different. I would say that's the main update. So, we expect to gain some performance out of that and there are some characteristics to it that should allow us to get slightly more out of the whole package as well.
“I would say it's coming at the right time because everyone is improving and bringing new parts.”
Far from being downbeat though, Gasly was looking forward to the weekend at Silverstone: “The British Grand Prix is always a special date in the calendar because motorsport is so important here and it's such a big part of the whole country. It's always an unbelievable event. Silverstone is one of my favourite tracks as well. A lot of history there. It's always been quite good to me as well as a race track. I won there in Formula 2. And then, yeah, this year with Alpine it's our home Grand Prix. So there is a lot of expectations from the whole team with a lot of British people part of the team who want to do well at our home race. So yeah, lots of excitement going into the weekend.
“It’s closer than ever this year, I think the midfield is pretty much nine teams. If you look at Q1 in Austria, the gap between P1 and P20 was less than nine tenths of a second. It's such a fine margin and you can’t afford to make any mistakes, but at the same time you get a big reward from executing everything perfectly. So, if you extract 100 per cent of the package you’ve got, there are such fine margins between everyone so you can straight away jump two or three positions, which then is rewarded on the Sunday.”
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Any predictions ahead of the weekend, folks?