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Gasly hails ‘incredible’ day and Albon explains what changed for Williams as both make first Q3 appearance of 2024

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MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - MAY 25: 10th placed qualifier Pierre Gasly of France and Alpine F1 talks to

It was a positive Saturday in Monaco for Pierre Gasly and Alex Albon, with both drivers set to line up in the top 10 for Sunday’s Grand Prix after reaching Q3 for the first time this season.

Qualifying has often not gone in Gasly’s favour so far in 2024, the Frenchman having struggled to progress past Q1 during the opening races of the campaign. This was not the case in Monte Carlo, however, where he even slotted into P5 at one stage during Q2.

READ MORE: Leclerc beats Piastri and Sainz to home pole during Monaco qualifying thriller

After being the sole Alpine to progress to Q3, Gasly ended the session in 10th place and was left thrilled with how the day had unfolded, despite some dicey incidents in the final moments of the hour.

“It was incredible,” Gasly said of his Saturday in Monaco. “First Q3 of the year for the team. We knew coming here it is a track of opportunities, and [I] took a lot of risk, touched the wall way too many times but it was definitely worth it, and to make it to that top 10 we had to go all-out.

“Very pleased for all the guys that we’re progressing. Unfortunately in Q3 I went a bit too far and touched the wall in the chicane and we had a puncture, so I could not do a proper lap. But all in all, it’s just satisfying to be back in the Q3.”

Gasly ‘took a lot of risk’ to seal Alpine’s first Q3 slot of the year

Quizzed on whether being in such good form in qualifying is promising on a track where overtaking can be challenging on Sunday, the 28-year-old commented: “Yeah, definitely. We know how important the Saturday is in Monaco. We put ourselves in a great position, and I’m just excited.

“We managed to really put on a good performance today, and now we’ll focus on tomorrow to make sure we can score some points.”

HIGHLIGHTS: Relive a frenetic Monaco qualifying as Leclerc delights his home fans with pole position

Another driver with a smile on their face after qualifying was Albon, who – after securing P9 on the grid – was left feeling encouraged by having the ability to push his Williams in a way that he has not generally been able to at other circuits.

“I’m just really happy,” the Thai driver said after the session. “I feel like just generally we’ve been in a good way this weekend. From FP1 we’ve been feeling confident in the car, and then also what’s different about this qualifying session to most is [that] I felt like I could push.

‘It was a lot of fun’ – Albon beaming after sealing top 10 grid spot in Monaco

“A lot of the times I feel limited by not being able to always push because I was damaging the tyres too much and overheating them. That’s kind of been the story of the year so far, where I’ll do a good Q1 but then I can’t drive much quicker without overheating the tyres.

“Whereas this weekend it just felt like every lap you could push more and more and more. You weren’t losing the tyres in Sector 3, and that was a lot of fun.”

READ MORE: ‘Wrong place, wrong time’ – Perez and Alonso offer their reactions to shock Q1 exits

Like Gasly, Albon is hopeful that the tight nature of the track may help him in his efforts to maintain position during the race.

“It’ll all be about graining,” he cautioned ahead of the iconic Grand Prix. “I think everyone’s going to be talking about it. We’ve been worst affected normally, last year we were the worst affected by it.

“Our long runs yesterday were also pretty badly affected by it. Let’s see. I think if we get some clean air, let the quick guys just go away, it will be okay!”

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