Lewis Hamilton got stuck behind Pierre Gasly after going on dry tires midway through the race, having lost some time when Esteban Ocon got in his way coming out of the pits, even receiving a penalty.
Despite the Briton appearing to have an overall pace advantage over the Frenchman, the Mercedes driver couldn’t find a way to overtake the Frenchman as he didn’t have enough straight line speed to overtake at the end of the main straight.
When the DRS was activated, Hamilton was also unable to gain any advantage, as Gasly was also benefiting from it by being less than a second behind Alexander Albon.
Reflecting on their battle, Gasly explained that they were both quite stuck in traffic, as he was looking for a way to get past Albon , just as Hamilton wanted to do with him.
“It was probably the only thing that happened the whole race,” Gasly said of that defense against a Hamilton who couldn’t find the gap. “He was stuck behind me, I was stuck behind the Williams and that car was stuck with the one in front. We were a train.”
“So yeah, it wasn’t a particularly fun race, rather quite frustrating. Even with the DRS, we couldn’t prepare for an overtaking move.
“We know that when you do a bad qualifying, where we made a mistake, and you start from the back, it’s always extremely difficult. And I think we paid the price this weekend.”
Asked if it was really easy to keep Hamilton behind, Gasly said: “Well, I wouldn’t say it was easy, but it wasn’t too difficult.”
The battle between Gasly and Hamilton was reminiscent of last year’s Monaco Grand Prix, where the French driver spent the entire race fending off the seven-time world champion.
Recalling the fights from that day, Gasly smiled: “Unfortunately for him, he always gets stuck behind me on tracks where it is extremely difficult to overtake.”
“But I think this time I was just as frustrated as he was, you know? For whatever reason, even with the DRS, this year it was very difficult to overtake at this circuit,” the AlphaTauri rider concluded.