For the last two Grands Prix, Pierre Gasly has cut a lonely figure on the start line, with engine-related grid penalties hitting Toro Rosso hard and leaving the Frenchman near the back of the grid. Austin was a tough race for him, but he mounted a superb fightback to seal a points finish in Mexico, a welcome boost for the Red Bull-bound driver…
The Frenchman started 19th at the Circuit of The Americas, after Honda opted to fit a fresh engine with ‘minor modifications’ to his car, and he could only battle his way to 12th, suffering a fifth straight race without a top-ten finish.
And ahead of the Mexican GP, Honda had ‘a concern regarding the assembly of the one used in Austin', as revealed by their Technical Director Toyoharu Tanabe, and they opted to put in another fresh engine.
That guaranteed Gasly a start at the very back of the field, and meant his chances of points were slim. However, he kept his nose clean at the start, avoiding trouble at the first corner, and executed a ‘smart’ game plan that ultimately yielded a fifth points finish of his rookie season.
“As for my race, it feels great to finish in the points,” said Gasly. “With the penalty, we started last on the grid in P20 so it was difficult to reach the top 10, but we managed to do it in the end; I’m really happy to get one point.
“It’s good for everybody in the team, especially after a couple of tough races. I felt good with the car, I had some great battles and the strategy was the right one so I think we did everything we could.