Pierre Gasly admitted that he was not “super satisfied” with his best attempt in Qualifying 3 for the Monaco Grand Prix, despite achieving a joint career-best fifth place.
However, the Red Bull Racing driver will start Sunday’s race at the Circuit de Monaco in eighth position after the stewards deemed that he had blocked countryman Romain Grosjean on the exit of Casino Square, handing Gasly a three-place grid penalty.
Red Bull showed promising pace in qualifying, with Gasly’s team-mate Max Verstappen set to start from third behind the two Mercedes AMG Motorsport cars of polesitter Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.
Gasly ended qualifying just 0.094 seconds away from Scuderia Ferrari‘s Sebastian Vettel, and said that we was a little disappointed in his inability to get ahead of the German.
“I would have liked to have jumped Seb who was just a tenth faster in fourth, but I wasn’t super satisfied with my lap and I struggled to put all the sectors together,” said Gasly.
“You can see things are getting better but for sure there is still more performance to come.
“It’s all about continuing to work with the engineers to try and find a balance that helps me extract the maximum from myself.”
The 23-year-old also said that he would be open to the unlikely forecast of rain materialising on Sunday.
Provisional forecasts suggest a 30% chance of rain late in the afternoon, probably after the chequered flag, but the 40% chance of rain during qualifying never threatened the session.
Gasly believes his best chance of bettering his grid slot will be at the start, with limited overtaking opportunities and a probable one-stop race hurting the chances of any shake-up in the order during a dry race – barring any reliability troubles or driver errors.
“There’s a chance of some rain tomorrow which I wouldn’t mind, especially on this track as it would make things pretty interesting,” he added.
“I think we’re pretty good in the long run, but the main chance for us will be at the start where hopefully we can make up some places.”