Pierre Gasly felt it was unbelievable to make it through to the top ten shootout in Qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix on Saturday, particularly when he was expecting to fall at the first hurdle.
The Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda driver will start ninth on the grid at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza after surviving the incredibly tight Q1 session where he was one of eight drivers to set a time in the 1:20.8 bracket, but then improved still further to get through to Q2, before taking his spot in ninth in Q3.
“Today was unbelievable, we didn’t know if we would get through to Q2 before Qualifying, and then we made it to Q3!” said Gasly. “It’s an amazing feeling to be starting in P9, everything went super well during Qualifying, I managed to get a good gap and slipstream and put one of my best laps in for the season.
“I think this was clearly the best result we could have achieved in Qualifying, and it’s fantastic to have done it at Toro Rosso’s home race.”
Gasly felt the team improved the feeling of the STR13 overnight after he did not particularly enjoy his running during Friday practice, but after qualifying higher up the grid than expected, he knows there is still the main job to do on Sunday to score points.
“I didn’t feel so great with the car yesterday, but we made some good progress overnight and now I feel much better with it,” he said. “Today was half of the job done and now we need to finish the other half tomorrow.
“It’s a really long way from the grid to Turn 1 so it will be crucial to really nail the start, then after that just try to be at the right place at the right time because it’s going to be tight.
“When you start further up the grid it’s a bit less risky, so I’ll try to put my car in the right place to keep it clean, then push as much as possible.”