Pierre Gasly was elated as he took sixth on the grid for Saturday’s F1 Sprint at Monza, and praised his AlphaTauri team for helping him achieve that position in a tricky Friday qualifying session.
It was Valtteri Bottas who took P1 for the Sprint in a Friday evening session that saw his Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton finish P2 and Max Verstappen third, but Gasly starred as well with sixth – behind the McLaren pair.
And the 2020 Italian GP winner remarked that he was happy to have navigated so well past the infamous Monza traffic (above) that can jeopardise many a flying lap.
READ MORE: Bottas takes P1 in qualifying, but is set to start Sunday’s Italian GP from last after changing power unit
He said: “Yes, it’s always tricky. We know here it’s always a game of cat and mouse, you know, no one wants to lead, everybody wants to get a tow. It was important to get some clean laps which is what we’ve managed to do.
“Very good quali, another P6, I don’t know how many times we’ve qualified P6 this year, but it just shows we are doing a very good job and I’m really happy with the team.”
Another reason for Gasly to cheer was that he qualified ahead of the Ferrari pair, with Carlos Sainz in P7 and Charles Leclerc P8.
“Yes, very pleased. I’m really happy,” continued the Frenchman.
“I think I gave everything out there and it was a very good lap to put us in P6. I think the McLarens – Mercedes engines – were really strong all qualifying and looking at the GPS in between the sessions we saw a very big gap in the straights and that’s why we I think really maximised our potential, outqualifying ahead of the two Ferraris again.
READ MORE: Sainz hails Ferrari progress after double Q3 at Monza, as Leclerc frustrated by power unit issue
“Already a much better qualifying than last time we had this format. So, started a lot better in practice and I think tomorrow it’s going to be 18 intense laps trying to see if we have the pace to stay with the guys ahead and try to put us in a good place for Sunday,” he concluded.
Gasly is looking for a fourth-straight points-scoring weekend, starting with Saturday’s F1 Sprint that sets the grid for Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix.