Unwell Gasly happy to leave Mexico with points
Starting on the soft tyre was a challenge in itself for Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly in Mexico, let alone having to race with an illness picked up over the weekend. Perhaps not surprisingly, then, he was pleased to come away with a ninth-place finish.
Gasly arrived at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on Saturday morning feeling unwell, but was able to take part in both practice and qualifying. An impressive performance saw him reach Q3 and start from 10th place, but both he and team mate Daniil Kvyat had to do so on the soft tyre that provided them with a strategic headache on Sunday.
71 laps is quite long - especially when you don’t feel great. It wasn’t an easy one!
Nevertheless, both cars initially finished in the top ten after a pair of strong drives. However, after Kvyat was penalised for last-lap contact with Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg, Gasly ultimately became Toro Rosso’s only scorer, two points his reward for a tough weekend. It meant the team left Mexico sixth in the standings, level on 64 points with Racing Point.
“I think in the end we could not really do better than that with the option tyre,” said Gasly. “The beginning was really difficult and I think we can be pleased with the final result. It’s just a shame we lost points with Daniil because for the team’s championship against Racing Point it’s not ideal, but on my side for sure I wasn’t at 100 percent of my capacity since (Saturday) but I think we can be pleased with the result.
“The battle with Carlos [Sainz] clearly made us lose a lot of time. For two or three laps we battled quite hard and I think I lost around six or seven seconds. So it wasn’t ideal but then it’s racing. In the end we managed to pass him, but the race itself, 71 laps is quite long - especially when you don’t feel great. It wasn’t an easy one! But I’m happy we’ve made it work and scored these points.”
With back-to-back races meaning F1 heads straight to Austin for the United States Grand Prix, Gasly says his focus is now on recovering as quickly as possible to be in better physical shape at the next round.
“It’s not ideal but I’m a bit better (than Saturday), but clearly not great. I wasn’t 100 percent in terms of my capacity, but I just know that I gave everything I could inside the car and now I guess it’s just a matter of resting as much as I can before Austin.”