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F1 | Qatar GP | Gasly qualifies in P4 despite puncture on his final lap in Q3: “it’s just an amazing feeling”

The AlphaTauri driver enjoyed yet another strong qualifying performance, carrying on from the impressive pace he showed in Friday practice and Saturday morning, although a dramatic puncture meant he couldn’t finish his final flying lap.

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F1 | Qatar GP | Gasly qualifies in P4 despite puncture on his final lap in Q3: “it’s just an amazing feeling”
Fuente imagen: Hasan Bratic - MotorLAT

Pierre Gasly is one of the stars performers of F1 in 2021 when it comes to qualifying, the Frenchman qualifying in the top 5 for the three times in the last four races. His performance at Losail throughout the weekend suggested a good qualifying could be on the cards, and so it proved. Gasly will start the first ever Qatar GP from an excellent 4th place, just under 0.4s behind the works Red Bull of Max Verstappen.

But it wasn’t without drama, as he clattered his car over a kerb on the final run in Q3, which broke the front wing and cut his tyre apart, meaning he had to ground to a halt on the main straight. Speaking after the qualifying session, Gasly explained the incident from his view:

"It’s a shame. The lap was coming amazingly – we finished P4, but I was another tenth and a half faster on my last lap.

"To be honest, I don’t know what happened. I just exited on the kerb and the whole front wing went under the car and blew the front right tyre, and that was it. Some unexpected fireworks [laughs] coming out of the car.", the Frenchman concluded.

Despite the puncture, Gasly managed to finish qualifying behind only the two Mercedes and the Red Bull of Max Verstappen, and described it as an “amazing feeling”:

"The most important is that we still – the whole qualifying was amazing – and to finish it in 4th position, behind the two top teams, it’s just an amazing feeling."

The AlphaTauri driver opted for a different strategy compared to most in qualifying, using a set of the C2, medium tyres to get through Q1, and then getting through Q2 on the softs, on which he’ll need to start the race on. When asked about it, Gasly explained the long run to the first corner made his mind about the soft tyres, in order to “maximise” his start on Sunday’s race:

"After last night, we looked a bit at all the numbers, and I was pretty clear on which tyre compound I wanted to use in Q2, because it’s a long start. Until you get to turn 1, it’s a pretty long straight, so I really wanted to maximise the start performance. For me it was always clear to start with the option [soft tyres]. At least it gives us flexibility in the race, with the tyres – mediums, softs - we have plenty of tyres, so that’s the main thing."

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