Pierre Gasly said he enjoyed the battle with Lewis Hamilton during last weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix, and he felt it was the best performance of the season for the AT-02.
The Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda driver says he can be happy with the result at the Circuit de Monaco, with the Frenchman having to withstand almost constant pressure from the reigning World Champion.
Gasly admitted the switch to the hard Pirelli tyre made the second half of the race a lot more difficult than it had been on the softer compound, but he was pleased not to make a mistake and bring home a top six finish.
“It was a pretty long race and obviously with Lewis behind it wasn’t easy, I couldn’t make any mistakes and just had to focus on my own race ahead, but I really enjoyed it,” said Gasly.
“Finishing P6 today is good, I think we can be happy with that result and it’s the best performance of the season so far.
“The car felt really good in the first stint but once we put the Hards on we really struggled, and it made it pretty difficult on a couple of occasions with Lewis but I’m happy we managed to keep him behind.”
One disappointment for Gasly was Sebastian Vettel managing to jump him for fifth position during the pit stops, with the battle between him and the Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team driver extremely close on the run up the hill.
However, despite losing the place to the German, Gasly felt the strategy they took was the right one, particularly as they were able to keep Hamilton behind him as was the plan.
“I believe we took the right strategy today, we had to cover ourselves with Lewis’ pitstop, but it didn’t quite work out,” he added. “It was very tight between Seb and I going up the hill, I was quite surprised to see him and there was maybe just a finger between our tyres, but it was great racing.
“The car performed well today, even if I think we could have achieved more and there are definitely some areas we still need to improve in compared to some of the cars we’re fighting against.
“I’m still pleased with this result though, it was important for us to be back up near the front and getting some big points again was great for the team.”
“Starting from P16 we knew it wouldn’t be easy” – Yuki Tsunoda
Whereas Gasly was embroiled in the battle for points, team-mate Yuki Tsunoda’s first experience of Monaco did not end up being as successful, with the Japanese race ending sixteenth at the chequered flag.
Tsunoda paid the price for a poor Qualifying result on Saturday where he ended up eliminated in Q1, and despite attempting a strategy that saw him be the final driver to make his mandatory pit stop, he couldn’t make any real gains forward.
“Starting from P16 we knew it wouldn’t be easy,” said Tsunoda. “I struggled for grip in the first lap compared to other cars around me and we lost a few positions, after that I was constantly behind cars, despite having strong pace, so wasn’t able to make my way forward.
“The main thing for me is my Qualifying performance and how I can improve this. I’m going to work hard ahead of the next race so that we can hopefully be in a point scoring position next time out.”