Competing in solely his second race weekend in Japan’s premier single-seater sequence as an alternative to Kazuki Nakajima, Alesi mastered the tricky wet conditions in Autopolis qualifying to beat TOM’S teammate Ritomo Miyata to pole place by simply zero.085s.
The heavily-delayed session was interrupted by 4 pink flags and noticed climate situations change by the minute, with Alesi’s time of 1m38.252s coming after the third stoppage.
It marked the 21-year-old’s first pole place in any racing class for the reason that 2015 French Components four championship, as he by no means certified on the entrance row throughout his 5 seasons on the Components 1 assist invoice in GP3 and F2.
Requested by Autosport about how he felt after ending his pole drought, Alesi stated: “I really feel over the moon as a result of there have been instances in GP3 I wasn’t so removed from pole, simply on the final minute somebody beat me to it.
“Right now I felt I did the very best I might, I used to be in the very best situations that I’ve ever been in to have the ability to carry out, and the sensation to have delivered when every little thing is there at your disposal is wonderful.
“This actually appears like a reward in a approach for the robust instances in these previous few years and the work I’ve put in on myself and the group to assemble this.”
Alesi stated he knew he needed to take additional dangers on the lap that granted him a shock pole place, understanding that the situations would deteriorate later within the 40-minute session.
“I did really feel that lap it was raining, so I knew it was now or by no means and I took some dangers,” he stated.
Giuliano Alesi, Kuo VANTELIN TEAM TOM’S
Picture by: Masahide Kamio
“It felt kind of the identical [in terms of track conditions], simply within the third sector I took extra dangers the place I didn’t the run earlier than, and that was the place I made up more often than not. Till that, the laptime was about the identical, however I made the distinction in final sector.”
Alesi is competing in his first season in Japan and had beforehand by no means pushed at Autopolis.
The French driver stated the expertise he gained within the supporting Tremendous Components Lights sequence, the place he’s competing full-time this 12 months, helped him achieve a greater understanding of driving across the observe in wet-weather situations.
He completed second within the SF Lights race that proceded Tremendous Components behind Atsushi Miyake, and presently holds the identical spot within the drivers’ standings.
“It positively did assist me get better the shortage of expertise on this observe in comparison with the opposite drivers, particularly given the very fact it’s my first time in Autopolis,” stated Alesi.
“I’ve little expertise with Tremendous Components, so the Lights race helped me get a really feel for the place it was harmful and straightforward to go off. However throughout qualifying, once we have been all bettering, the observe was slowly drying up.
“It was simply [about] getting as a lot mileage, that positively helps. The whole lot has been serving to me, Lights with Tremendous Components and Tremendous Components with Lights.”