Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda added yet another podium to their steadily growing collection, as Pierre Gasly claimed a brilliant third place at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix with team-mate Yuki Tsunoda in a fantastic seventh.
Gasly was in unbelievable form all weekend in Azerbaijan, finishing top of free practice three, qualifying in fourth and then finishing it off with another podium, in what was a chaotic and hard-fought race.
The Frenchman began the race strong despite being overtaken by eventual race winner Sergio Pérez at the start, the Frenchman quickly settled into the race and did well to manage an engine issue. For the two lap sprint finish after a red flag caused by Max Verstappen’s tyre failure, Gasly lined up again in fourth. He had an epic battle with Charles Leclerc, both drivers gave everything for the final podium spot but in the end it was Gasly who came out on top.
The Frenchman is ecstatic with his performance over the weekend and is looking forward to hopefully an equally successful home grand prix, in two weeks.
“What an incredible weekend, topping FP3, then P4 in Qualifying and now a podium today – I’m so happy for the guys, it was a great result! What a way to do it as well, the last two laps were so intense with Charles and I really had to fight hard to get that podium.”
“The entire race was really full-on, we managed to keep up with the guys ahead but from the middle of the race we had an engine issue and we started to lose some power in the straight, so I knew it was going to be hard until the end, but we managed to hold on to P4. After the restart I thought that Charles would pass me on the straight because we had lost performance, but I saw the podium ahead of me and I tried everything, I just wanted it so badly.”
“It was hard but fair racing, just as we like it. The car was incredible all weekend, it felt really good, and it’s just a fantastic result for the whole team. I’m really pleased to reward them with a podium. Moving forward to France, we need to analyse what went well this weekend and see how we can use these learnings at the next race. It’s my home race so I really want to do well there but for now it’s time to celebrate – I’ve already had a Red Bull, but I think we’ll be having something else tonight too!”
“I’m a bit frustrated by the final result” – Tsunoda
For rookie Yuki Tsunoda it was also a brilliant hard-fought race, the Japanese driver crossed the line in seventh place to take his best finish so far in his Formula 1 career. Tsunoda showed his talent with some calculated overtakes during the race, the result could have possibly been even better had the red flag not come out, with the Japanese driver racing a couple positions higher at the time.
Nevertheless a super weekend for Tsunoda, who is clearly very harsh on himself to do better!
“I’m a bit frustrated by the final result today, as I think the pace in the car has been strong this weekend. The start of the race was ok for me and until the red flag I think my performance was really good. Unfortunately, I dropped two positions during the last laps, I’m not sure I could have done anything differently but I’ll analyse everything tonight so I can understand this better moving forward.”
“P7 still means important points for the team though. I want to say congratulations to Pierre for the podium today, the team really deserve it and it’s a great result.”