"The best day of my life," admits Gasly


In the moments after crossing the line, having held off a very, very determined Lewis Hamilton for second, Pierre Gasly made no secret of his joy. Amidst the screams of delight there were tears of joy, the Frenchman having proved the critics wrong by giving Toro Rosso its best result since Sebastian Vettel's win at Monza in 2008.

Though his cause was helped by Valtteri Bottas' retirement and the antics of the Ferrari pair, the fact is that the Frenchman had been looking strong all weekend. Indeed, he has looked an altogether better driver since being demoted by Red Bull in the summer.

"It's just the best day of my life," he told reporters. "As a kid, you dream about being in Formula 1, and then when it happens, it becomes the best day of your life. And then after you dream about your first podium.

"To be fair, I didn't think this will happen coming back with Toro Rosso during the second part of the season," he admitted, "but I just kept working on myself, tried to push the team as much as I could, telling them 'OK, we need to make the best out of all the opportunities we have until the end of the year'. And today it just came to us.

"I felt good in the car the whole weekend," he said, "and I think we managed to get the car exactly where I wanted. I said 'OK, if we finish best of the rest again in the race this will be amazing for us'. So that's what we were doing.

"The whole race we had a good pace. I was controlling the gap with the guys behind but we always had quite a safe margin. I could push quite nice and even at the beginning of the race, I could see Albon and Charles wasn't pulling away so much. So I think the car was working really well.

"When they started to battle, first the Ferraris, I was like 'OK, this looks quite similar to Bahrain 2018 in P4'. And then after I knew Lewis will try something on Albon.

Asked about the iconic drag race with Hamilton to the line, he said: "I tried to defend the best way I could, and coming out of the last corner, just flat out and hoping that the engine can give you every single horsepower it can get.

"I was pressing the overtake button, trying to get low inside the cockpit and I could see his front wing and I was like: 'please don't pass me on the light' 'cos I'm going to be so pissed off if it happens. I really wanted to keep that second place.

"I was strained. I told my engine to give me everything it had and I think without the progress we have made it would have never been possible. I am just so happy; I don't know what to say. Honda have been improving so much over the last few months, and without this progress it would never have been possible to hold that second place to a Mercedes.

"Just insane," he grinned. "I think the only thing we have to say is a big congrats and a big thank you to Honda today."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Interlagos, here.

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Published: 18/11/2019
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