An ecstatic Pierre Gasly has heaped praise on his “fantastic” Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda after finishing a career best fourth in the 2018 Bahrain Grand Prix.
The race was only the second of Toro Rosso’s relationship with power-unit provider Honda after the Japanese firm parted ways with the McLaren F1 Team after three unsuccessful seasons. At the opening round in Australia the package proved to be uncompetitive but in Bahrain Gasly qualified sixth, which became fifth after Lewis Hamilton served a grid penalty.
In the race, Gasly benefitted from not only strong race pace but the retirements of both Aston Martin Red Bull Racing cars and Kimi Raikkonen’s Scuderia Ferrari to finish a remarkable fourth.
“Unbelievable, what an incredible day!” said a delighted Gasly. “The second race of the season with Toro Rosso and Honda, and we finish P4. It’s just amazing, I’m so happy! A big thanks to the team because the car was fantastic!
“I had a nice fight with Magnussen and the pace was really good. I saw unfortunately both Red Bull cars had to stop, then after Raikkonen retired the team told me we had the opportunity to finish P4, so I gave everything to the end.
The car has been fantastic since the beginning of the weekend, today I could just push flat-out and the pace was great because I managed to pull away from the Haas.”
Gasly, for whom the 2018 Bahrain Grand Prix was just his seventh race start, said after the race that the result had yet to sink in.
“I need a bit of time to let this sink in, but we will definitely enjoy it with the team tonight! The start of the race was mega – I managed to overtake Ricciardo in Turn 1 which was great, after that it got a bit tricky when Magnussen overtook me in Turn 1, I knew I had to overtake him straight back because I would lose time and it would be difficult to catch him afterwards.
“Once I passed, I managed to keep him behind and push flat-out while I was trying to manage the tyres, which we did pretty well. I think the pace was great so I’m just super happy.”