Yesterday’s race in Baku delivered the second podium of our Scuderia AlphaTauri era, following on from last year’s victory in Monza. It was the fifth in total for the team. To say it was action-packed would be an understatement, as Pierre Gasly stood on the podium for the third time in his career, sharing the excitement with four times world champion Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull Racing’s newest recruit Sergio Perez, winner of the 2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
What an incredible weekend, topping FP3, then P4 in Qualifying and now a podium today – I’m so happy for the guys, it was a great result! What a way to do it as well, the last two laps were so intense with Charles and I really had to fight hard to get that podium.
The entire race was really full-on, we managed to keep up with the guys ahead but from the middle of the race we had an engine issue and we started to lose some power in the straight, so I knew it was going to be hard until the end, but we managed to hold on to P4. After the restart I thought that Charles would pass me on the straight because we had lost performance, but I saw the podium ahead of me and I tried everything, I just wanted it so badly. It was hard but fair racing, just as we like it.
The car was incredible all weekend, it felt really good, and it’s just a fantastic result for the whole team. I’m really pleased to reward them with a podium. Moving forward to France, we need to analyse what went well this weekend and see how we can use these learnings at the next race. It’s my home race so I really want to do well there but for now, it’s time to celebrate – I’ve already had a Red Bull, but I think we’ll be having something else tonight too!
I’m a bit frustrated by the final result today, as I think the pace in the car has been strong this weekend. The start of the race was ok for me and until the red flag, I think my performance was really good. Unfortunately, I dropped two positions during the last laps, I’m not sure I could have done anything differently but I’ll analyse everything tonight so I can understand this better moving forward. P7 still means important points for the team though. I want to say congratulations to Pierre for the podium today, the team really deserve it and it’s a great result.
Franz Tost – Team Principal
It was a sensational race from the very beginning. I want to say congratulations to Red Bull Racing, Honda and Perez today, it was a fantastic victory. Unfortunately, Max who was leading and was in my opinion the fastest man on the track, lost it at the very last minute of a great race from his side. However, the important thing is that he still leads the Championship.
As for us, we started with Pierre in the fourth position, which was already a great starting place, and Yuki wasn’t far behind in seventh. Both drivers had a good start and Pierre defended P4 for a long period, even whilst managing a small PU issue, but unfortunately lost time behind Stroll and that allowed Vettel to catch up and overtake Pierre after the pitstop. At the restart, we changed from the Hards to the Softs and Pierre completed a really good manoeuvre against Leclerc to put himself into the third position. It’s an unbelievable result and both the team and Pierre deserve it, as we were very competitive here from FP1 onwards.
Yuki started from P7 and only lost one place to Alonso on the first lap but managed to regain the position later. After the red flag, Yuki started from the sixth position but lost two places during those last few laps. Nonetheless, he finished in a fantastic seventh place and the team scored some great points this weekend, meaning we’re now fifth in the Constructors’ Championship. The guys did a really good job today on all sides, from the pitstops to the strategy, and they deserve this result.
Congratulations to the whole Scuderia AlphaTauri team and I hope we can continue this performance in the upcoming races.