Gasly says Monza P8 'the best we could have hoped for'


Pierre Gasly reckoned he made the most of his afternoon last Sunday at Monza where the AlphaTauri charger finished his race in the points in P8.

Gasly had qualified ninth but had benefitted from the engine related grid demotions of four drivers ahead of him in Q3 on Saturday to start his race from P5.

The Frenchman, banking on a one-stop strategy, held his own during the first part of the race, closely following teh McLaren of Daniel Ricciardo.

He then predictably fell down the order after his switch from mediums to hards on lap 18 of 53, while any hopes of undercutting Ricciardo were dashed by a slow pit stop executed by his AlphaTauri crew.

Together, the duo progressed back up into the top ten, with Gasly eventually inheriting 8th after an engine failure sidelined Ricciardo. In the end, the AlphaTauri charger finished hot on the heels of Lando Norris.

"We hoped that there would be slightly more action between the top three teams but unfortunately all the top guys came back to the top," Gasly explained. "So, I think the top six was always going to be in that order.

"Not going to lie, I think I'm probably going to have nightmares of Daniel's rear wing over the next couple of days because I spent so, so, so, so much time right behind him.

"It was actually a race against myself, because I was getting so mad inside the helmet. I was fuming. I tried as hard as I could. And yeah, I was trying to put pressure for him to make a mistake.

"Never happened, he did a really, really clean race on his side. We tried, and at least I know we gave it everything.

"And we know Lando is really fast on Sundays, and they have showed that a couple of times, so to finish right behind him is definitely the best we could have hoped for."

Earlier in the week, feeling under the weather, Gasly had sat out Thursday's media day at Monza. But as the weekend unfolded, the 26-year-old's form improved.

"[Sunday] was the best I’ve felt all week," he said. "And now I need about three days in a row, sleeping and resting and finishing all the antibiotics and all the treatment I’ve got to go through, and I’ll come in good shape to Singapore."

Unfortunately, Gasly's teammate Yuki Tsunoda had few positives to take away from his Monza weekend.

A blend of over-the-limit engine component changes and reprimands sent the Japanese driver to the back of the grid on Sunday from where he gained a few spots but without ever approaching a points-scoring finish, something that has alluded Tsunoda for the past ten races.

"The medium [tyre] pace was quite good [at the start of the race]," he said. "But hard tyres were pretty bad; it wasn’t like special pace, so I struggled with the hard tyre.

"There were not many mistakes from my side so we have to see how we can improve from here."

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