Pierre Gasly said his AlphaTauri car felt “incredible” in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix as the Frenchman earned a superb podium finish in Baku.
Gasly followed up his form in qualifying on Saturday by running high up the order throughout Sunday’s race, and benefited from Max Verstappen’s retirement through a tyre failure and Lewis Hamilton running off the circuit at Turn 1 on the race restart, to help him on his way to his third Formula 1 podium.
Sergio Perez battled through a hydraulic issue and won the race in Baku, while Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel joined the pair on the podium after a scintillating Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
“Incredible, honestly, I really don’t know what to say,” Gasly told Paul di Resta as he gathered his thoughts after Sunday’s race. “It was such an insane race and a super-intense last two laps.
“The car’s been incredible all weekend and we showed in every section we were there. [After] qualifying, I didn’t know if we could keep that position or fight for even a podium, but in the end we did it.
“I’ve already finished once first, once second and I’ve missed that third place, so it feels incredible today to get that podium.”
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Gasly was locked in a heated battle for the final podium place with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and McLaren’s Lando Norris in the two-lap sprint to the line, but said he was able to earn P3 despite having a problem with his power unit.
“We had to get the elbows out,” Gasly smiled when asked about the final-lap battles. “It was a very difficult race for me to race on with an engine issue, so we were losing quite a lot of power down the straights.
“Seb managed to pass us in the middle of the race and I knew these last two laps would be very difficult with Charles behind.
“With every braking [zone], I wasn’t sure if I was going to stop the car but I had to go for it – I really wanted that podium. It just feels incredible after such a good weekend.”
With Yuki Tsunoda making it a double points finish for the Faenza-based squad, Gasly said there may well be a party in the AlphaTauri garage.
“[We got] some really good points, Yuki had a very good race as well. All in all, a fantastic job and hopefully we can celebrate all together tonight.”