Ricciardo ‘s retirement due to engine problems on the final stage of the Italian Grand Prix was a relief for Pierre Gasly. The AlphaTauri driver did not have the best start to the weekend at Monza, as he was not feeling well on Thursday.
However, he was able to recover, and on Saturday he qualified in ninth position (although he finally started fifth, thanks to the penalties of the rest of the drivers). The Frenchman crossed the finish line in eighth place , scoring points for the second time in the last eight races, after a ninth-place finish at Spa.
“I am very happy with the result,” said the Frenchman. “We made a good start and were battling with a McLaren for most of the race,” he added.
“I’m not going to lie, I’ll probably have nightmares about Daniel’s rear wing in the next few days, because I spent a lot, a lot, a lot of time glued to it. Gasly was frustrated that he couldn’t advance, but acknowledged that Ricciardo had defended well.
“It was actually a race against myself, because I was getting so angry inside the helmet. I was fuming. I tried as hard as I could. And yes, I was trying to push him to make a mistake.”
“He didn’t do it, he had a very, very clean race on his part. We tried, and at least I know we gave it our all. We tried everything, and we got some big points, which is something that always feels good.”
His race was also compromised by a slow pit stop : “I have to check exactly what happened. I don’t know if it cost us a position, because I saw that the left front tire change was a bit slow, and then I came out very close to Daniel I have to see exactly what happened there.”
Gasly had no problem with the race ending under the safety car , although he believes any “snag” at the restart could have given him some positions.
“I’m not going to lie, for my part, if I look at it in a purely selfish way, I pushed myself hard and Lando [Norris, up front] was on new softs. So I had more to lose than gain, but at the same time I thought that if the race was restarted, knowing who was ahead, knowing that when you drive a Ferrari car around this circuit and you have a chance to win the race, I know there could have been a lot of sparks at Turn 1, and maybe We could have benefited from it.”
“I was prepared for both scenarios. But they decided not to restart it. I don’t know why. I think there were a couple of drivers who were unhappy last year [in Abu Dhabi] when they restarted with a lap to go. This time there are a couple of drivers unhappy about not restarting. So it always depends on how you look at it.”
Asked by Motorsport.com about his expectations for the upcoming race in Singapore, Gasly admitted that it probably isn’t the circuit that best suits his car.
“If I look at the numbers… maybe it’s better not to look at the numbers! I’m going with an open mind and we’ll do our best, prepare in the best way and hopefully we can fight for the top 10 again.”
“First of all, I will try to rest, sleep well and recover physically for that race, because we know that it will be very extreme conditions. It is a track that I love, honestly. I love that place, I have missed it in recent years and I can’t wait to go back there.”
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