Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel discusses his pass on AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly while exiting the pits, and the latter applauds their “hard racing.”

Vettel’s lap-31 pit stop was a deciding moment in his race, as he emerged from the pit lane alongside Gasly on the long run up to turn two. The German narrowly beat his adversary, with a daring overtake only shown on replay after the live images were interrupted by Lance Stroll’s scrappy attempt at navigating the swimming pool complex.

Vettel, whose overtake was made possible by a rapid pair of laps after Mercedes’ Hamilton and Gasly both pitted, says that his laps prior to pitting enabled his eventual overtake – one of few during the race on the narrow streets of Monaco.

“I knew that time would be crucial to make our race, and Chris my engineer also told me, ‘now is the time,'” Vettel said to TV media. “Tyres weren’t fresh anymore, but I was able to still go faster than I had up to that point. That made the difference. The pit stop, we had a little bit of a wait but then it was very, very tight with Pierre.

“I didn’t see him, but then it was a drag race up the hill,” added Vettel, who held the outside line around turn two to secure his position. “It was tight with Pierre coming out, and up the hill I didn’t see him initially. I saw he was there but not exactly where and then it was a drag race up the hill.

“It’s not straight up the hill and I gave him room and eventually he had to back out of it… I didn’t have much room either as there’s a lot of pick up off-line, plus I’m on fresh tyres – you still have that silicon top on the tyres that you need to get rid of but it worked,” summed up Vettel, who ended up fifth and was the Driver of the Day too.

Despite deploying extra power, Gasly lost the drag race to turns two and three, and said he thought both he and Vettel could end up in the harbor if they raced any harder. But the Frenchman applauds his opponent for fair racing. “I tried the overtake button and put everything I had, but for some reason, it didn’t give me the edge on it,” he said.

“Going up the hill, I thought, we will both end up in the harbour because it was that close, and yeah, he managed to have half a car in front to keep himself ahead. He didn’t leave me any room on the inside. It was hard racing, I told him, but we both made it. If I would be in his seat, I would have done the same thing, so nicely done from him.”

Here’s the video of the pass:

Here’s how F1 Monaco GP panned out