It felt ‘surreal’ to outqualify Ferraris says Gasly, as Kvyat blames wind for his Q1 exit
After qualifying seventh for the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, Pierre Gasly will not only start Sunday's race ahead of Red Bull’s Alex Albon and both McLarens, but also in front of the Ferrari duo who had a tough Saturday – a result the Frenchman called "surreal" after the session.
The AphaTauri driver was even more surprised with his P7 in qualifying after his AT01 proved difficult to handle in practice on Friday.
“To be fair it feels a bit surreal because we knew it would be difficult to make it to Q3,” he said. “I struggled a bit yesterday with the car, it didn’t feel so great, but the team did amazing changes overnight.
“This morning, it was already much better. In quali we never expected to outqualify the two Ferraris, a McLaren, one Red Bull as well. Honestly, I felt great and it was a pretty good qualifying."
Having gained four positions last time out at Silverstone, Gasly could be in with a shout of finishing seventh once again – but he added that he is expecting a tough challenge from the cars behind.
“We are a bit out of position compared to where we should be,” he explained. “Tomorrow is going to be very different compared to last weekend, [with] the tyre choices, it’s going to be quite aggressive with the strategy and not easy to manage the tyres.
“We’ll have to fight hard, I’m sure about that, but we’ll try our best. Today we managed to do a strong job and I really hope we can repeat that tomorrow,” he concluded.
Team mate Daniil Kvyat, on the other hand, was frustrated to have been eliminated in Q1 with a lap chalked off thanks to a track limits violation. He came back into the pits banging his steering wheel in anger, and later revealed that a stray gust of wind caught him off guard.
“I was very unlucky with the wind – a gust of wind put me off in that corner so I lost a lot of time and that’s it; the lap was looking good,” he said.
However, AlphaTauri’s solid race pace could yet yield dividends on Sunday for Kvyat as he starts 16th – behind Williams’ George Russell and Ferrari’s Vettel.
“I think in the race we always can make up for poor qualifying," he said. "I mean, for sure, tomorrow we can put on a decent race and I am quite confident."