Pierre Gasly scored his second seventh place finish of 2020 during Sunday’s British Grand Prix, but the Frenchman felt it was one of his strongest races during his time in Formula 1.
The Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda driver started the race at Silverstone in eleventh but lost out during the pit stop cycle to drop further outside the top ten.
However, he started a great charge through the field, passing a number of cars including BWT Racing Point Formula One Team’s Lance Stroll and Scuderia Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel to advance to seventh at the chequered flag.
He was assisted by the late race punctures for Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team’s Valtteri Bottas from second and McLaren F1 Team’s Carlos Sainz Jr. from fourth to move up two places, but overall, he showed good speed throughout and was one of the stars of the race as he brought AlphaTauri six much-needed points.
“It’s really fantastic for us to finish P7 today!” said Gasly. “It was a very strong race and probably one of the best ones from me.
“We didn’t expect such a result today, we knew we could potentially score points, but it was going to be a challenge as the timing of the first safety car didn’t play into our hands. I think we were P12 at the time and I had to fight my way through the crowd.
“It was tough but very enjoyable and I had many great battles with Vettel, Stroll and [Antonio] Giovinazzi. I struggled to get close to Sebastian, but then I had one shot to pass him and I knew I had to try and make it work. It doesn’t happen every day that you’re able to overtake a Ferrari on the outside, so I really enjoyed that one!
“I’m feeling good in the car and we know where we need to improve, so hopefully we can take another step forward in the coming weeks.”
High Speed Crash Ends Kvyat’s Charge
After starting nineteenth on the grid on Sunday, Daniil Kvyat was the man on the move in the early laps and was running not far behind his team-mate when his right-rear tyre suffered a puncture heading into Maggotts bend.
The puncture saw the Russian spin off into the wall, heavily damaging his car and bringing out the safety car. Initially Kvyat blamed himself as he thought he had made a mistake heading into the corner before the realised the incident was out of his control.
“I think it was a very strong race despite the fact it was cut short,” admitted Kvyat. “I had a good start, great pace and made quite a few overtakes, catching up to the cars in front.
“We were on for a good result today when all of a sudden at Turn 10 I lost the rear of the car. I thought it was my fault, as at first I always tend to blame myself, but after reviewing the video we saw that something happened out of my control, so we will need to check all the data to understand what exactly caused the failure.
“It’s disappointing as we could have scored some good points here today, but I will try again next week.”
Tost Praises Gasly’s ‘Fantastic Race’ but Bemoans Kvyat’s Retirement
Franz Tost, the Team Principal at AlphaTauri, praised Gasly for his performance throughout the weekend at Silverstone, even if he wasn’t able to make it into the top ten shootout in Qualifying.
The Frenchman’s performance enabled the team to score some useful points in the Constructors’ Championship, and Tost was thrilled to see him overtake a number of his rivals on-track, proving the competitiveness of the AT01.
“We came to Silverstone with a few new parts and we were quite optimistic,” said Tost. “From the very beginning of the weekend, we were able to show a good performance throughout all Free Practice sessions.
“For whatever reason, we couldn’t put everything together in Qualifying, even if Pierre’s eleventh position on the grid, with a free tyre choice, was actually quite fortunate.
“Pierre had a fantastic race, overtaking many cars and we decided to call him to the pits during the safety car period – unfortunately the one due to Daniil’s accident – to put him on base tyres, which paid off quite well. His seventh position at the end of the race brought some good points to the team.”
Tost was happy that Kvyat was able to walk away from his high-speed crash, although it ruined a potential points score for the Russian despite starting on the back row of the grid following a pre-race penalty for a gearbox change.
“Daniil started the race from the back in P19, due to a five-place grid position penalty, but he had a good start and was immediately very competitive, catching up to Pierre in P12,” said Tost. “He was actually behind him when he had his accident at Maggotts, which we will need to investigate but it looks like it might be due to a rear puncture.
“However, the most important thing is that he got out of the car without injuries and he is completely fine. It’s a real shame as he was showing great pace and I think he might have also finished in the points. We are now looking forward to next week for the second race in Silverstone.”