Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda driver Pierre Gasly, of France, finished in sixth place at the 2021 Formula 1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. There was disappointment for Gasly’s team-mate, Yuki Tsunoda, who finished 14th; the Japanese driver earned a five-second penalty for causing a collision with German driver Sebastian Vettel.
I’m very pleased with today, finishing in the top six in front of Ferrari. I’m really happy with that result and we’re taking home a lot of points again. We knew it was going to be tricky coming to a new track, but we’ve performed well throughout the weekend and had a strong starting position today. It was a difficult race, with lots of things happening and it was very long, which meant it required a lot of focus. We know how complicated it is into the first corner here, so having three starts was intense, but we tried to take every opportunity we could and in the end, I think we did a good job.
It’s been a tough afternoon. I struggled at the beginning of the race, but I think the final restart went well and I managed to gain back some places. Unfortunately, I pushed a bit too hard and I had the collision with Vettel. The pace in the car was looking quite good at that point in the race, so I should’ve held off and waited for another opportunity to overtake, it was my mistake and I’ve apologised to him. It’s frustrating as I feel like points were on offer today.
Franz Tost (Team Principal)
Firstly, congratulations to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for this fantastic event here in Jeddah. They’ve built a really great track, although if I had to suggest an improvement that could be made for next year I would say to bring in some more cranes, so that any car involved in accidents can be cleared away quicker, avoiding long red flag periods.
“From our side today, Pierre started from P6, but his first start was not so good, and he finished the first lap in the eighth position. Yuki started in P8 and also lost some positions on the first lap, but both drivers were able to regain some of them thanks to the red flags. Pierre especially did a really good job coming back after the second red flag and regained P6, which he was able to defend until the chequered flag. He drove another fantastic race today and showed a very strong performance yet again, so well done to him. Yuki also improved a lot in the final stint of the race and was able to overtake a few cars to make his way up to P9. Unfortunately, he then had the collision with Vettel in corner one. I think he did the right thing to try and overtake but, unfortunately, they touched and he sustained damage to the front wing. He had to come in to change it, we put him on the hard tyres and, from then on, he drove a good race with strong lap times. Overall, it was a good first experience in Saudi Arabia for us, with the sixth position from Pierre and with Yuki also showing a really great performance throughout the weekend. We’re now looking forward to the final race in Abu Dhabi, where we hope to have another good last event of this season.