Pierre Gasly described the lap which earned him fifth on the grid for the Bahrain Grand Prix as the best of his F1 career to date.
The Toro Rosso driver set the sixth-quickest time in Q3 but will move up to fifth on the grid after Lewis Hamilton’s penalty is applied.
Gasly said the lap was “great timing” on his first appearance in Q3.
“It was the best lap I have ever done in Formula One,” he said. “I had one chance in Q3 with my new tyres, I knew that I had to do the lap and if I would do a really good lap it would put us in a pretty good position.
“For sure I didn’t expect to be P6 but when I closed the lap I was like OK, I’ve given everything I had, and it was just a great feeling when they told me I was P6.”
Gasly was concerned he wouldn’t make the cut for the top 10 after an unsuccessful attempt to use Fernando Alonso’s slipstream in Q2.
“I tried to get the tow from Fernando but I got a bit too close to him so it wasn’t ideal for my lap. I was losing performance. After I finished I didn’t know if we were going to Q3 but finally it worked out.”
The STR13 is handling much better in Bahrain than it was in Melbourne, Gasly explained. Last weekend he had a “quite different balance between entry to mid-corner and then instability and wash out at the apex – not really balanced from entry to exit.”
“This weekend the balance is really good, overall grip is good. I think we made a step also on the aero with our set-up. We seem to be much better in the medium-high speed compared to Melbourne.”
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2018 F1 season
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