Prior to the 2020 season opener and before the Imola race was confirmed, Gasly and his teammate Daniil Kvyat shared 100kms of running between them with a filming day in the current car.
They also did some extra unrestricted mileage in a 2018 Toro Rosso.
Both men were near the top of the times from the start of the morning practice session on Saturday, and Gasly progressed strongly through the three qualifying sessions in fifth, third and finally fourth place. K
vyat also made the top 10 and will start eighth.
Although AlphaTauri was the only F1 team to sample Imola before today, Gasly denied that it was the secret to his good form.
“I would say obviously we take it, it was a nice decision to come here,” he said. “But it was 15 laps far from from the pace we had to go to today. So it was not really representative, but it was good to have the first idea of the track layout and kerbs.
“I will say it’s a 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.
“So today was no wind at all, and we know the car in this condition seems to work quite well. And we’ve managed to put some good laps in practice. Every qualifying Q1, Q2, Q3 as well.
“It was a very tight battle between everybody, but we managed to come out on top.”
Gasly, who has been confirmed at AlphaTauri for 2021, is hopeful that the team can finish the year strongly.
“I think we can always do better as a team and also on my side,” he said. “So really trying to grab every point we can until the end of the year with five more races. I think this year has been very good so far.
“But it’s important to finish as high as we can, because obviously the cars are not going to change massively next year. So everything we can do to improve our overall performance will be beneficial for next year.
“So I think that’s the key, and also as a team just operate as good as we can. We can see in the midfield battle it’s so tight, every single detail will make a difference.
“Obviously, the team championship at the moment, the gaps are pretty big, but it’s important that we prepare ourselves the best way possible to be in the mix for the fight for next year. And obviously, that’s a work which continues every weekend.”