Baku surely has been one of Pierre Gasly's favorite places in the world lately, as the Frenchman in 2021 scored here his only seasonal podium and has snatched today his best seasonal result, P5, after four hard races conclued without points.
After keeping his qualifying position at start, he took advantage of the Virtual Safety Car issued after Sainz's hydraulic issues to pit. After the retirement of the other Ferrari driver, Gasly moved up to P4, but had to surrender it to Lewis Hamilton in the final stages of the race.
The AlphaTauri driverwas extremely satisfied with his performance, as he said in a statement issued by his team: "Top 5, I'm extremely happy about this weekend, with our best qualifying of the year yesterday, P6; [then] P5 today."
Gasly went on to recall the highlights of the race from his point of view:
"I must say it was a bit of a lonely race, we were a bit behind at the start and then towards the end of the race Hamilton and I had a small battle, but ultimately he was too fast to keep him behind.
"Everything was great, a perfect weekend:race strategy, great pit stop, great start, good speed, extremely happy."
He also was glad after a tough run, especially after the many reliability issues that had hit the team leading the constructors' championship in the first rounds of the year:
"I'm extremely happy for the whole team, in the last couple of weeks we haven't been really lucky, it has been quite tough but we stick together, we kept working and this weekend it finally all played off."
He retuned on the many difficulties encountered at the beginning of the year, and thus how important is this top 5 result, later on in an interview for Sky Sports:
"Top 5 is an incredible result for us, especially after that start of the year and not so much luck on our side. It was important to get a clean weekend, which is what we did, best qualifying of the year yesterday, best result of the season today so yeah, it was great."
"I battled a bit with Lewis, but he ended up owning that position. I really showed the good work that we have done and we have got to keep pushing in that direction."
He also talked abot the way his tyre strategy was influenced by the safety car, pitting only once at the beginning of the race and making his hard tyres last for more than 40 laps.
"We knew that we had one only set of hard tyres. Before the race we kind of "manifested" no safety car until the end of the race, or at least in the last 30 laps, unfortunately that didn't happen. We knew it would not play in our favor, I saw Lewis coming at me really fast, so I tried what I could, but he was just too fast."