Pierre Gasly reckoned finishing sixth in the Turkish Grand Prix – and less than ten seconds away from the podium places – was a good effort, particularly after taking a five-second time penalty for colliding with Fernando Alonso at turn one on lap one.
The Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda Driver was deemed to have been at fault for the incident that saw Alonso spin around and lose significant ground on the opening lap, although he felt over the radio that he had been unable to avoid the contact as Sergio Pérez was inside him coming to the turn.
Nevertheless, Gasly drove superbly throughout the race and was able to take his penalty without losing a position and was closing down the cars in front of him in the closing laps.
“I’m really happy to be back finishing in the top six, I think this is probably one of our best performances this season, particularly in these difficult conditions,” said Gasly. “To be finishing just 10 seconds from the podium, after a five second penalty, is really good for us.
“The Turn 1 incident was a bit unfortunate, I was sandwiched between Sergio and Fernando, we touched a little bit but it was just enough to spin Alonso, so I want to say sorry to him.
“After that though, the pace was really strong, and I’m pleased with the performance of the car this weekend, it feels nice to have been fast straight from Friday again.”
“Today was another big learning curve for me” – Yuki Tsunoda
Team-mate Yuki Tsunoda ran inside the top ten in the early laps in Turkey, but a spin cost the Japanese driver dearly, and it left him outside the points in fourteenth at the chequered flag.
Tsunoda was engaged in a battle with reigning World Champion Lewis Hamilton in the early stages, and it needed a robust move from the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team driver to get ahead of the rookie driver.
And it is in defending from Hamilton that Tsunoda reckons caused him to spin, as he used up his intermediate tyres trying to withstand the British racer. However, he feels the race will aid him in the long run as he was able to get some significant running on the intermediate tyre, something that has been lacking during his first season in Formula 1.
“It’s a real shame today, as I think I could’ve been in a position to finish in the top 10,” said Tsunoda. “I used too much tyre early on, battling with Hamilton, and after that it was really hard to keep up the pace.
“Unfortunately, I then had a spin, and this ruined my whole race. Today was another big learning curve for me, completing so many laps on the Intermediate tyres, but I’m disappointed as I was really hoping to get points to help the team in the championship.”