After several races this season have thrown up unexpected results so far, Pierre Gasly expects that trend to continue in the second half of the year.
Gasly scored his third F1 podium after taking advantage of a crazy race in Azerbaijan. Having already qualified P4, he leapt into the top three after Red Bull’s Max Verstappen crashed out late on and Lewis Hamilton locked his brakes when challenging for the lead at the restart.
The Frenchman has had an extremely impressive year in his AlphaTauri so far this season overall, having qualified in the top six in eight of the 11 races – out-qualifying Yuki Tsunoda each time.
His 50-point tally heading into the summer break puts him above the McLaren of Daniel Ricciardo and both Alpine drivers in Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon – despite Gasly’s fellow Frenchman winning the last race in Hungary.
After the bedlam that took place in changeable conditions at the Hungaroring, the 25-year-old said it may not be the last time we see a mixed-up field this season, with the AlphaTauri driver looking to make the most of what could be available.
“I’m expecting some crazy races,” Gasly said, per the Dutch edition of Motorsport. “We are seeing a very intense battle at the top of the championship, crazy conditions, and there will still be opportunities. That’s what we have to focus on.”
peace out, holiday time ✌️ pic.twitter.com/H9sDLZ4HbL
— Scuderia AlphaTauri (@AlphaTauriF1) August 6, 2021
Gasly was left ruing his luck in Budapest, though, after the melee caused by Valtteri Bottas’ shunt into Lando Norris saw him forced to take the long way around and dropped him to the back of the field.
He then became “stuck” in the pit lane after sitting behind Nikita Mazepin and Kimi Raikkonen after their cars collided – but he was able to complete a strong recovery drive to finish P5.
Despite another solid return of points, the Frenchman was left wondering what might have been.
“Unfortunately we were unlucky and weren’t there to take the points,” he said. “Some – because of what happened at the start – had a bit more luck than others.
“I don’t know what to say, except that Valtteri ruined it and pretty much bowled the first six cars out of the race. I mean, luckily we didn’t get any damage out of it, like Max, Lando or Sergio, but our goal was to qualify in front of the midfield to be in the best possible position for the race.
“But in the end it looks like we may have performed too well on Saturday. It would have been better if we had started a little bit more back and been able to take advantage of this situation.
“When I look at the podium it’s disappointing, because I think we could have got more out of it if we had been a bit more lucky at the start.”