Pierre Gasly feared his hopes of securing a top five finish could be compromised by making sure he didn’t attack the Red Bull cars at the start of the Mexico City Grand Prix.
Starting from fifth directly behind the two Red Bulls, Gasly was side-by-side with Sergio Perez heading to Turn 4 and yielded to the Mexican to slot into fourth place. After a comfortable run to finish fourth, he admitted he was at risk of being overtaken by slower cars at the start because he knew he had to afford extra space to the Red Bull pair given their championship battles.
“Actually, it does make it harder because obviously taking that extra margin that you take kind of puts you a bit on the back foot compared to some others,” Gasly said. “I saw (Daniel) Ricciardo took a very, very good start, a very good slipstream.
“I kind of got a bit stuck behind Max (Verstappen) and Lewis (Hamilton) and I don’t know what’s happened for Danny but once he touched Valtteri (Bottas), we had to basically avoid the contact with Sergio and go wide. But then, after that, everything was fine.”
Once through that tricky start, Gasly kept the Ferrari pair of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz at bay with ease, something he said made the result even more satisfying.
“I’m extremely happy. P4, it has been a fantastic weekend – fifth in qualifying and fourth in the race. Everything was under control with Charles behind, I could pull away nicely and manage the whole race, so just a fantastic day.
“Especially in the last four races, before that we had two DNFs even though the pace was there. This weekend the car was there, we delivered in qualifying, we delivered in the race, and finishing ahead of the two Ferraris always feels nicer.”
P4 P4 P4 YAYAYAYAYY!
Amazing race, Mexico muchas gracias!❤️
— PIERRE GASLY 🇫🇷 (@PierreGASLY) November 7, 2021
And the result – coupled with Fernando Alonso’s ninth place – leaves AlphaTauri level with Alpine in the fight for fifth in the constructors’ championship, which is Gasly’s main goal for the rest of the season.
“I think we are equal on points with Alpine now, so it’s my personal target to give that to Franz (Tost) so he can have a nice Christmas gift at the end of the year,” Gasly said. “We’ll keep pushing for that and looking at our work as a team I think we have our chances and we will fight until the end.”