Pierre Gasly describes his fourth place in the Dutch Grand Prix as “a small win” for AlphaTauri after beating three of the teams ahead of it in the standings.
AlphaTauri dropped to sixth in the constructors’ championship following Esteban Ocon’s shock win and Fernando Alonso’s fourth place in Hungary, but Gasly continued his fine form with a third consecutive top-six qualifying performance at Zandvoort. Starting fourth himself, he duly converted that position to pick up 12 points, finishing behind only race-winner Max Verstappen and the two Mercedes drivers.
“I hope you saw the overtake on Fernando!” Gasly said. “After that there wasn’t much to look at, but it was an amazing race. P4 for us is a small win, for AlphaTauri. Finishing in front of both Ferraris, both McLarens and right behind the three cars of the top teams. It’s been a fantastic performance, strong qualifying, very good start, very good pace through all the race and a perfect weekend for us.
“The last 10 laps were a bit long. The whole middle part of the race was all about managing Charles (Leclerc) behind and the gap. The team was really worried with the tires, so they asked me to slow down the entire time which was a bit annoying. But I told them ‘okay just do my thing and then we’ll be fine’, and in the end it was fine.
“It was just very enjoyable to be in that position to have the performance to just push when I wanted and exactly do what I wanted inside the car. So a lot of positives to take from this weekend and it’s exciting for all the races until the end of the year.”
Having highlighted his pass on Alonso at Turn 1, Gasly said he expected a tough fight from the double world champion so attempted to catch him unawares with a bold move.
“I knew I could not wait and wasted my time because Charles was out a bit longer. I didn’t want him to overcut,” he said. “At the same time I knew Fernando fighting us in the championship will make my life quite hard.
“But the previous lap I was so strong into Turn 1, I saw I gained so much time and almost tried something without really wanting to do it and that next lap I was really far (back), just sort of surprised him.
“I don’t think he expected me to go around the outside there. So I just thought okay, I’ll give it a shot, try to surprise him and I think it was a nice one. I really enjoyed it, and I don’t think he expected me to go there.”