Pierre Gasly sees his sixth place in the Hungarian Grand Prix as a win in Formula 1’s “B-class” and admits he was shocked by Toro Rosso’s level of performance.
Having qualified in sixth place in wet conditions on Saturday, Gasly lost out to Max Verstappen off the line but managed to jump Carlos Sainz at the same time. In clear air he pulled away from Kevin Magnussen’s Haas with relative ease.
Gasly takes pride from the way he is delivering big results when the car allows him to.
“It’s a win in the B-class,” Gasly said. “Of course we know it’s impossible for us to do better. I think I was the only guy in the B-class not lapped in the race, so it’s a pretty nice feeling.
“Honestly I’m really happy because we knew that with Toro Rosso, two, three times in the year you have big opportunities like this where the car works better than expected, things come your way. I really wanted to make sure that this year I take the opportunities when they come to me, and that’s what we did in Bahrain, in Monaco the same. Then again this weekend, we knew there was something big… Really happy about it.”
Asked if the weekend reminded him of Bahrain earlier this year, when Toro Rosso was clearly the fourth-fastest car, Gasly replied: “In a way, yes, because I knew that I had to overtake Carlos at the start just to have free air and to be able to push as hard as I could.
“My start wasn’t fantastic, but then after into Turn 1 I stayed on the inside and fought a bit with Max. I got Carlos on the exit, and after that I knew that I had my chance in my hands. I just had to push as hard as I could with the car, try to keep the tires alive, and just went exactly as in a dream. It was great.”
And Gasly admits he was surprised by Toro Rosso’s pace in Budapest given the way the team’s performances have fluctuated during the season so far.
“Honestly since the beginning of the year, Bahrain, Monaco and this weekend where the only ones where we could have got this kind of result.
“Especially after the last three, four races, honestly I’m quite shocked again to be able to get that P6, because we’re so far… last weekend in qualifying we got stuck in Q1, behind one Williams, and this weekend we lapped one of the Williams in the race.
“There are just tracks where the car works much better. It’s quite surprising. But when it does work like this, we need to make sure we can take all the points we can.”