Pierre Gasly left Spa-Francorchamps with a seventeen-point advantage in the championship after a strong weekend in the Ardennes forest where he took his third victory of the season and a fourth place.
The Red Bull-backed Prema Racing driver was forced to play second fiddle to team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi in qualifying, but secured his third Feature race victory on Sunday, making an early pass on race leader Gustav Malja and then making the pass on Jordan King after the pit stop cycle to return to the lead.
“It was a great race,” said Gasly. “I didn’t do a great start but still good enough to keep my second place.
“After, I saw that Gustav was pushing really hard so I knew what I had to do, be smart, find a good spot to overtake him and not to do any stupid mistakes. With the Soft tyres, I tried to open a little bit of a gap but Norman (Nato) was pushing quite hard behind me. Also Jordan pitted early on so we had to try to cover him a little bit.
“I really enjoyed the race, there were some good overtakes. I say it again but the car was fantastic to drive. It’s a great feeling and you can enjoy it much more when you feel that you have everything in your hands to be successful. I managed to do it until the chequered flag so I’m really happy.”
Gasly also played a starring role in Sunday’s Sprint race, starting eighth and finishing fourth despite missing an element of his front wing following an early clash with Oliver Rowland at Les Combes.
“We are happy about today, it was really an exciting race,” said Gasly about the Sunday Sprint race. “I didn’t have a mega start, I was a bit stuck in the middle at the first corner.
“I think I dropped to P9, then I tried to overtake Oliver (Rowland) and we touched and I lost a bit of my front wing and I didn’t know how it would be in the race with this missing part and I lost a place to Sirotkin and I dropped to P10.
“There was nothing I could do but think about my own race and I then just pushed like hell to recover the positions. I really enjoyed it, had some really good battles, did some good overtakes and took some risks to come back.
“I really enjoyed it and just were short a lap or two to get he podium as I was coming back to Luca (Ghiotto) but still I think we can be really pleased with that and the whole weekend.”