Pierre Gasly happy that luck finally came their way in F1 Dutch GP as he felt a lot better with a podium in main race than sprint.
The last race before the summer break at Spa-Francorchamps was fruitful for Alpine’s Gasly when he ended up third in the sprint event. A lot of them regarded it as one-off, but the Frenchman defied that to end up third in last weekend’s F1 Dutch GP.
There was some luck and fortune for Gasly but he hung on as well to secure that position. The mixed conditions saw him take a right gamble and jump up to fourth from outside the Top 10. He cleared Zhou Guanyu to take third spot early on itself.
But lost to Max Verstappen to drop outside the Top 3. He had a hefty battle against Carlos Sainz for fourth where despite losing the spot, he retook it and positioned himself well for the podium. He had a 5s time penalty which was unfortunate but it didn’t bother him.
A stroke of luck where Sergio Perez was handed the same 5s penalty eventually helped Gasly to take third even though he finished fourth on the road. Amid the off-track shenanigans, Alpine now has podiums with both their drivers this year.
On a roll –
Gasly: “Yeah. Yeah, it looks like that. Yeah, I mean, it was extremely tricky today, as Fernando and Max said. All the conditions were pretty much thrown at us from the start. We ended up on slicks in the dry, in damp conditions, then feeding the Inters on the wet, but then on a drying track. So it was all about adapting yourself to the conditions and really playing with the limits. But after the summer break, I was really excited to get back in the car and today was probably the most fun I’ve had all season. Very exciting to be fighting for these positions.
“And yeah, they were important goals to make but the whole team executed a very strong race. And I’m pleased, because we haven’t been very fortunate since the start of the year, kind of involved in some unfortunate situations on many occasions, which goes to some points and which kind of built some frustration but you’ve got to keep your head down and always trying to improve what you can on yourself, and today it paid off. So yeah, big congrats to the guys and a great way to restart the second part of the year.”
Jump at the start and hanging on then –
Gasly: “I mean, we knew we were starting outside the points and there was this rain coming. Took a good start and out of that last corner, I saw the rain, I could see the intensity, and I saw the opportunity and the reward. So I called it straightaway. I wanted to box, also to benefit from a slightly drier track to warm up the tyres on that first lap. And it really worked out well. So it put us in a strong position, fourth place straightaway. Then there were 71 laps to go. So still a pretty long day at the office. But it felt great. We managed to pull away from the Ferrari, we had a five second penalty, which wasn’t great and put us back behind Carlos, which we had to overtake after that. But all in all, there’s some very good pace and good calls from the team and good strategy. So I’m happy to start this second part of the season in that way.”
Brief fight against Max Verstappen –
Gasly: “I think I’ve I finished more than five seconds behind Max, so it doesn’t really matter to me, depends how much Fernando pays me, then we can discuss how much you’re willing to give! Yeah, it was a wheel-to-wheel battle and, I mean, Max knew that if you’ll push me slightly wider on the paint in the wet, if I put a wheel on there, then I’ll just understeer wide. It was on the limit. Yeah, if I’ll be in his position, and you’ve got to pass a car, you’ll play with the limit and that’s why you will try. So I’m not too fussy about it. Yeah, it’s just racing. And yeah, close racing.”
Staying within 5s of Sergio Perez –
Gasly: “It’s never easy to stay within five seconds of a Red Bull, that’s for sure. But you know, I mean, I saw the opportunity, I knew what was on the table and yeah, just gave everything I had out there. And actually, I expected to struggle a bit more with a warm-up initially, but the conditions were not too bad. So, it was yeah, pretty much a couple of qualifying laps at the end, which were really rewarding and I can feel what he was feeling: I went through it a couple laps before with these five seconds penalties. So yeah, I just tried to get everything I could.”
Podium after two years and amid difficult season –
Gasly: “Well, it’s obviously very satisfying when you get a reward for the work that we’re all putting in in the team. I think objectively, you’ve got to look at the package that you’ve got. And obviously last year, with AlphaTauri we were nowhere near a podium finish at any point. We just didn’t have the speed. I think this year we came close in Monaco, running in third position and it was clearly a missed opportunity, with the, sort of, extra stop, which wasn’t necessary. But no, it’s a sort of season where you’ve just got to keep trying, just keep trying again and again and there’s going to be a point where things are going to click and today it did, and it was probably the most challenging race of the year.
“There were a lot of obstacles. There were many moments where we could have got it wrong. But as a team, we just tried to maximise that and that’s why I’m really pleased and I’m really proud of the team, because we haven’t been really fortunate but you’ve got to keep trying and keep looking at yourself and seeing the areas where you can improve. And that’s what we’ve been doing. The top three in Spa didn’t feel the same. Obviously, it was a third place, but it’s a Sprint and I didn’t get to go on the podium. But clearly, this one feels a lot better. And I hope we can build up from there with the guys.”
Here’s how F1 Dutch GP panned out