The AlphaTauri driver finally got some relief when Ricciardo retired with an engine problem in the closing laps, starting the safety car period under which the race ended.
Gasly had a rough start to the Monza weekend as he wasn’t feeling well on Thursday. He bounced back and qualified ninth, before taking four grid spots on penalties.
He eventually finished the race in eighth and only recorded his second score in the last eight races, after finishing ninth at Spa.
“In the end I am very happy with the P8,” said the Frenchman. “Yesterday Q3, started P5, we managed to get a good start, we battled with a McLaren for most of the race.
“I’m not going to lie, I think I’m probably going to have nightmares of Daniel’s rear wing for the next few days because I’ve spent so, so, so much time right behind him.”
Gasly was frustrated that he couldn’t advance, but he admitted that Ricciardo had defended well.
“It was actually a race against myself because I got so angry in the helmet. I was smoking. I tried as hard as I could. And yes, I tried to pressure him into making a mistake.
“Never happened, he drove a very, very clean race on his side. We tried, and at least I know we gave everything. We tried everything and we scored some good points, which always feels good.”
Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri AT03
Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool
His race was also compromised by a slow first pit stop: “I need to look at exactly what happened. I don’t know if it cost us a position as I saw the left front switch a bit slowly. I got very close with Daniel. I have to see what exactly happened there.’
Gasly had no problem with the race ending under the safety car, although he believed any “sparks” on a restart would have given him some positions.
“I’m not going to lie, on my side, if I look at it purely in a very selfish way, I was used hard and Lando [Norris, ahead] was on new softs.
“So I definitely had more to lose than to gain, but at the same time I thought I know if they’ll restart it, knowing the guys before us, knowing when you drive a Ferrari car on this track and you get one shot at if I win the race here I know there can be quite a few sparks in turn 1, and maybe we can take advantage of it.
“So I was ready for both scenarios. But they decided not to restart. I don’t know why.
“I think some guys were unhappy last year [in Abu Dhabi] when they started again for another round. This time there are a few guys unhappy that won’t reboot. So it always depends on how you look at it.”
Asked by TBEN about his expectations for the next race in Singapore, Gasly admitted it probably won’t suit his car.
“When I look at the numbers, maybe it’s better not to look at the numbers! I went there with an open mind and we will do our best, prepare as best we can and hopefully we can fight for the top 10 again. “
“First of all I will try to rest, sleep well and get back in shape physically for that race because we know it’s very extreme conditions. It’s a track that I love, honestly. I love that place I’ve missed that place in recent years and can’t wait to get there.”