Pierre Gasly believes that Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda extracted all possible performance out of their package, resulting in a hard-fought ninth place at the Belgian Grand Prix.
Gasly, who started in the top ten due to Valtteri Bottas‘s engine penalty, took his second points finish in as many races in 2018, putting him within two points of Carlos Sainz Jr. in the Drivers’ Championship.
The Aston Martin Red Bull Racing-bound Frenchman expressed his surprise in the top ten finish, admitting that Toro Rosso expected “a difficult weekend” at the power-sensitive Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps. Gasly’s good start helped him to get past Daniel Ricciardo and Kimi Räikkönen and escape the aftermath of the huge collision into Turn 1 that ultimately ended their races.
“I’m really happy to score points today,” beamed Gasly.
“It was supposed to be a difficult weekend for us on a track like this, and to end up with two points is really positive. The race itself was actually quite calm for me, I started in 10th position and overtook Daniel and Kimi on the inside of Turn 1 which put me in eighth.
“A few laps later Valtteri [Bottas] passed me but we knew there wasn’t much we could do about that, so I just pushed as much as I could. In the end we finished in P9, so it’s really satisfying.”
22-year-old Gasly praised Honda for their progress in engine development and said that Toro Rosso “made the most” out of their package. However, he fears that this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix could prove to be painful for the Italian team due to its emphasis on straightline speed.
“The car felt great all weekend and Honda did a really good job, we definitely made the most out of our package this weekend,” he continued.
“We will try and do the same in Monza in a few days, another track that on paper does not suit our car, but It’s our home race and I will give it all to get the best possible result.”