Pierre Gasly has said he hopes to fight for "good points" this year after AlphaTauri's strong form in Formula 1 pre-season testing.
Gasly topped the lap charts across the three days at the Bahrain International Circuit, completing 236 laps whilst his rookie team-mate Yuki Tsunoda pushed Red Bull driver Max Verstappen for the fastest time in the closing session on Sunday evening.
“I always find things to improve but, to be honest, after three days it is a lot better than where we were at the same time last year in Barcelona after the same amount of time," said Gasly.
“I am really happy. I think we know which opponents are going to be really fast, we already have some ideas, and I think we know where we will struggle a little bit at the moment but hopefully, we can find some answers in the coming days before we come back here for the race.
“But I really hope we can be in the fight, especially for some good points.”
Gasly impressed for AlphaTauri last season, consistently joining the best-of-the-rest battle and securing his maiden victory at the Italian Grand Prix at Monza on his way to 10th in the championship.
Given the speed of the AlphaTauri last season and the progress that looks to have been made, many are excited about the prospect of the team joining the battle for third.
Pushed as to whether the excitement around AlphaTauri is justified, the Frenchman added: "We want to be excited as well.
"I think we have a good package but I don’t want to draw any quick conclusion now because things could be very different in two weeks.
"At the moment we are just looking at ourselves. We are trying to work on the areas we have to work on because this car, even if it seems to be quite good, there are still areas we need to improve but I think there are good reasons to be excited.
"I hope we are going to be able to put on some strong performances early in the season because it is going to be an important year."
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