Frenchman Pierre Gasly was pleased with his fifth-placed finish in the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, after spending much of the race weekend “on the edge.”
A late Safety Car caused plenty of confusion as only five lapped cars were allowed through, allowing Max Verstappen to take the title from Sir Lewis Hamilton.
As a result of the chaos, Gasly was not entirely sure what was happening on the final lap, but enjoyed it all the same.
“I had an Aston Martin and a Haas, but other guys came by. I didn’t really understand it all but I just tried to pass as many cars as I could on the last lap and managed to get another top five, so I was very very happy with that,” Gasly said.
Having struggled with balance of his AlphaTauri on Friday and Saturday, the Frenchman spoke of his car’s improvements on Sunday.
“[The car was] a little bit [better], but I must say it was very difficult to drive, it was sliding a lot, I was on the edge all the time and it was clearly not the best car I have had this season,” he said.
Despite the struggles all weekend, the 25-year-old highlighted the importance of making the best out of a difficult situation.
“The balance was far from what I would have liked but that’s how it is sometimes and at the end of the day, once you’re in the race, you just have to do the best you can with what you have and with your tools, with the driving and everything I do, the corners, the trajectories, everything, I try to maximise it and that’s why I think I’m really happy with the position that we finished in.”
Reviewing his haul of 10 points in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Gasly is proud of his endeavour and particularly his overtake on Fernando Alonso.
“I can’t be happier than that to have come back in this way, we took every opportunity, we tried different strategies, I managed to overtake Fernando, even if it was difficult today,”
Gasly finished in the top five on five occasions in 2021, and was proud to get a top-five finish in the curtain-closer at the Yas Marina Circuit.
“I struggled a lot, it wasn’t easy, but I gave it my all and to finish such an incredible season with another top five, having increased our points in the Championship – we came close to Alpine, it’s always difficult to see such a margin after 22 races – but overall what we achieved as a team, when you look at all the previous years of AlphaTauri and Toro Rosso, it’s incredible.”
Gasly, who re-joined the team (which was called Scuderia Toro Rosso at the time) after a torrid half-season with Red Bull in 2019, also spoke of his admiration for his AlphaTauri colleagues.
“So I’m really proud of these guys. And I’m also hopeful for next year and what we can achieve because they have proved this year that they can perform at very high levels.”
Gasly will begin his fourth full season in Formula 1 in 2022, and his third with the AlphaTauri team.