Pierre Gasly overcame ‘a lot of obstacles’ to break two-year podium drought

Henry Valantine
Pierre Gasly holds the P3 trophy aloft.

Alpine driver Pierre Gasly holds the third place trophy aloft at Zandvoort after the Dutch Grand Prix.

Pierre Gasly heaped praise on Alpine for how they handled the Dutch Grand Prix on Sunday, as he claimed his first race podium for over two years.

Gasly was on the sprint podium at the last race at Spa, but getting over the line third at Zandvoort in a full race “clearly feels a lot better” for the 27-year-old as he claimed his first top-three finish in race conditions since Azerbaijan in 2021.

The Alpine driver climbed up from 12th and capitalised on mixed conditions in the Netherlands and stayed within five seconds of a penalised Sergio Perez come the chequered flag, leaving him elated at the outcome on Sunday.

Pierre Gasly: ‘There’s going to be a point where things click, and today it did’

Gasly was one of several drivers to take advantage of pitting for intermediate tyres on the first lap of a frantic Dutch Grand Prix, in which a heavy rain shower pelted the circuit just after the lights went out.

Additional reporting by Sam Cooper

Doing so allowed the Frenchman to claw his way through the field and up into the podium places, and remained in the top five throughout as the rain came and went on Sunday.

He was overtaken by Perez but after the Red Bull driver received a five-second penalty for speeding in the pit lane, he needed to stay within range of the Mexican come the chequered flag to make it onto the podium.

Gasly duly did so, bringing some much-needed silverware back to Enstone after a turbulent few weeks away from the circuit – something which delighted him afterwards.

“Well, it’s obviously very satisfying, when you get a reward for the work that we’re all putting in in the team,” Gasly told media including PlanetF1.com after the race.

“I think objectively, you’ve got to look at the sort of package that you’ve got in this last year. With AlphaTauri, we were nowhere near a podium position. We just didn’t have the speed.

“I think this year, we came close in Monaco, running in third position, and it was clearly a missed opportunity with the sort of extra stuff, which wasn’t necessary.

PlanetF1.com recommends

Revealed: The five longest winning streaks ever by a single driver in F1 history

Dutch Grand Prix: Max Verstappen equals Sebastian Vettel win record after Zandvoort chaos

“But it’s a sort of season where you’ve just got to keep trying again and again, and there’s going to be a point where things are going to click and today it did, and it was probably the most challenging race of the year.

“There were a lot of obstacles, there were many moments where you could have got it wrong, but as a team, we just tried to maximise that and that’s why I’m really pleased and really proud of the team – because we haven’t been really fortunate, but you’ve got to keep trying and keep looking at yourself and seeing the areas where you can improve and that’s what we’ve been doing.

“The top three in Spa didn’t feel the same as it was a sprint and [I] didn’t get to go on the podium, clearly this one feels a lot better, and I hope we can build up from there.”

Read next: Toto Wolff promises ‘thorough’ Mercedes review following ‘catastrophic’ strategy errors