Home Dice Bahrain dice with Lewis Hamilton left Pierre Gasly questioning Mercedes pace

Bahrain dice with Lewis Hamilton left Pierre Gasly questioning Mercedes pace

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After battling with Lewis Hamilton at Bahrain testing, Pierre Gasly thinks Mercedes aren’t as strong as they used to be.

Both drivers put on a show on the third and final day of pre-season testing as Hamilton and Gasly put in several wheel-to-wheel laps, with both drivers overtaking each other several times.

Mercedes have won eight constructors’ titles in succession, but with Formula 1 entering a whole new regulatory era, the Silver Arrows did not appear to be reaching the same record high in Bahrain.

Whether these struggles are genuine or an example of hidden performance was hotly debated ahead of the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, but it cannot be ignored. runner.

So, rather than AlphaTauri suddenly making gains, Gasly concludes that Mercedes has in fact retreated.

“I was a bit surprised to fight with Lewis,” he told reporters after day three of the Bahrain Test.

“I think the conclusion is that Mercedes probably doesn’t look as good as before.”

One of the main aims of these new regulations is to reduce the loss of performance suffered by a car following behind a rival, allowing them to follow closer for longer and increasing the chances of overtaking.

It was then a positive sign to see Hamilton and Gasly being able to stay so close to each other and overtake several times.

When asked if he felt any improvement following Hamilton, Gasly confirmed he absolutely did.

“It was clearly better,” he said. “We overtook each other several times, we stayed close to each other. It was definitely an improvement, so I think racing should be pretty fun this year.

As for the upcoming AlphaTauri season, Gasly believes it will always be about fighting in midfield for himself and the team, although he’s unsure where they’ll start in that midfield. ground.

“We had a pretty smooth test on our side,” he confirmed.

“We went through the whole program. We had a lot of question marks coming here. We had some answers, some more question marks.

“But overall I think now we just need to sit down and take a few days to review everything we’ve done and try to put the puzzle together to come up with the best possible car next weekend.

“A few parts are missing. Obviously it’s a new car so there’s a lot to learn.

“But obviously there are still areas where we absolutely need to improve for the season, but that’s part of the game – I think it’s the same for everyone.

“I don’t really know where we are in midfield at the moment. We know we won’t be going to the Championship this season.

“We’ll find out next week, but I think we have a rough idea of ​​where we are – we know we’re in midfield but we still don’t know if we’re up or down midfield. ground.”

Gasly has also become something of an internet sensation in Bahrain thanks to onboard footage of his head shaking as his AlphaTauri AT03 bounces along the track, with “porpoising” proving to be a feature of these new ground effect cars as soon as the beginning.

For a normal person that would have meant lots of paracetamol and a trip to the dentist, but Gasly is made of stronger things.

When asked if he needed painkillers after the rebound, he replied with a smile: “I’m strong, so I didn’t need painkillers.

“Head was shaking a bit after day one, but we got through it and I’m fine.”