Pierre Gasly was fourth for AlphaTauri, leading the F1 chase ahead of Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo and Alex Albon; Gasly won the Italian GP in September and has become one of the star drivers of F1 2020
By Matt Morlidge
Last Updated: 10/31/20 16:35
It may not be as surprising as his incredible win at Monza earlier this year, but Pierre Gasly delivered another unexpected result in Italy on Saturday by making AlphaTauri qualifier fourth for the Emilia-Romagna GP.
Quick from the start on Saturday, Imola’s slower-than-usual opening day of Formula 1 comeback, Gasly provided the closest challenge to Valtteri Bottas, Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen with a car that has more often been the seventh fastest on the grid this season.
“Looks like I’m fast in Italy!” said Gasly, one of the stars of the season and who wore the Ayrton Senna helmet this weekend at Imola. “Behind the two Mercedes and Max, we can’t do better than that.”
It is an extraordinary day for AlphaTauri in general, with both cars entering the top 10 for the first time in 2020.
But Gasly is once again their leader, and his form is also notable for equaling his best qualifying result – also finding second row with Red Bull last season – and because it happened at the end of a week in which his stay at AlphaTauri was confirmed. for 2021.
Gasly was not considered for the vacant Red Bull seat for 2021 despite his strong form, but beat Alex Albon, their current rider and the man who replaced him with the team last season, on Saturday.
“I have to say I felt fast the whole day,” he told Sky F1. “The training is good, we made some changes to qualification and they improved the car.
“In qualifying, I managed to put in a few strong laps, drove my way, and matched my best qualifier in Formula 1.”
Gasly will start Sunday’s race ahead of Renault drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Albon, while he admits he will keep an eye on Charles Leclerc’s pace from seventh with AlphaTauri chasing Ferrari in the championship.
Gasly admits being ‘surprised’ he didn’t run at Red Bull
In Friday’s press conference, Gasly expressed “surprise” that he was not “really considered” to return to Red Bull for the 2021 season.
“I am not disappointed, I would say. I was just shocked in 14 years [of the team] Seb (Vettel) won the race with Toro Rosso, the only other racer to win the race.
“Seb was promoted to Red Bull and won four titles with the team.
I have to say I’m just surprised I didn’t really consider it. I have two podiums with Toro Rosso, I think this season will be fine, and on my side the only thing I can do is try to put in some strong performances. [together] to give me a chance in the future. “
Gasly was demoted to the Red Bull brothers team last summer after only 12 disappointing races, with Albon replacing him.