Pierre Gasly continued his impressive Qualifying record in 2021 with another strong performance on Saturday as he took sixth place on the grid for the Styrian Grand Prix.
The Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda driver was strong throughout the session at the Red Bull Ring and ended up less than four-tenths of a second away from Max Verstappen’s pole position time and less than two-tenths of a second away from a place on the front row.
Gasly was full of praise for the work being done by the team as they continue to show improvements race after race, and now he is aiming for a good number of points on Sunday afternoon.
“I’m really pleased with today,” said Gasly. “We knew it wouldn’t be an easy day, after losing FP2 yesterday, but the car has been amazing all weekend and I was confident going into Qualifying.
“I think we have showed that this afternoon, we managed to get through Q2 with just one set of tyres which is really good for us, and we’re just a few tenths off the front row.
“I’m really happy with all the work the team have been doing and the improvements we’re continuing to make each weekend. It’s exciting times for us and shows we just need to keep pushing, everything is possible and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”
Tsunoda Takes Three-Place Grid Penalty for Impeding Bottas
Team-mate Yuki Tsunoda was also able to make it into Q3 on Saturday, but the Japanese driver picked up a three-place grid penalty post session for obstructing Valtteri Bottas earlier on.
Tsunoda had been on course to start eighth, but his penalty relegates him to eleventh and promotes Fernando Alonso, Lance Stroll and George Russell up a spot.
Despite his penalty, Tsunoda was delighted to advance through to Q3 without too many dramas, and he will now be focusing on converting his pace into a third top ten finish of the season.
“I think the car has been good this weekend and I’ve made a strong step up,” said Tsunoda. “I started Qualifying with an easier approach and then developed my lap as I went through each session.
“My final push wasn’t perfect but I’m happy to make it through to Q3 and it’s a positive move in the right direction for me.
“Unfortunately, I am now starting tomorrow from P11, but dry weather isn’t guaranteed for the race, so we’ll plan for a variety of situations tonight and see what happens.”