'I'm extremely happy' – Gasly hails 'amazing' P3 Sprint finish for Alpine in Belgium
Pierre Gasly hailed an “amazing” outing for him and his Alpine team at Saturday’s Belgian GP Sprint, as the French driver revealed how he navigated his way through “difficult conditions” to take third at what he calls “a home race”.
After a weekend of news away from the track at Alpine with the announcement that Team Principal Otmar Szfnauer and Sporting Director Alan Permane were departing the team, attentions turned to racing, as Gasly lined up sixth for the Sprint.
After the action got going under a rolling start, Alpine took the decision to swap Gasly's full wets for intermediates. This saw the French driver jump ahead of the Ferraris, vaulting him up to third after each driver had pitted.
Gasly was then forced to hold off the charging Red Bull of Sergio Perez and then the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton in the closing stages to seal P3. And, after a difficult start to the year for Alpine, Gasly was glad to deliver for the team.
“Well, I must say it feels amazing,” said Gasly. “I’m extremely happy to finish in the top three, especially here in Spa, which feels like a home race for us without the French Grand Prix. It was very, very difficult conditions, but I am extremely happy.
“Pitted at the right time and managed to hold off Lewis until the end. It does feel very special to do it as well in Spa. Obviously, a thought for Anthoine [Hubert].
“I’m just extremely pleased for the whole team, because it hasn’t been the smoothest start of the year, but we managed to put it together here today.”
Asked whether it was hard to deal with the pressure he was placed under by Perez and Hamilton, the 2020 Italian Grand Prix winner replied: “I must say I gave it everything, I could see him coming back, getting closer, and I was just trying to focus on my driving.
“Making clean laps one after the other. Wasn’t easy, tyres were degrading. Just gave it all and it paid off. Super happy for all the guys, and we will go for it again tomorrow.”