Bahrain Grand Prix – In a remarkable turnaround from their scoreless opening race, Pierre Gasly secured a fourth-place finish for Toro Rosso in Sakhir.
In only his seventh Formula One start, Gasly managed to stay at the front of the highly-competitive midfield battle to secure 12 points for fourth place – his first points in Formula One.
Having already impressed by qualifying in sixth place, and was promoted to fifth after Hamilton’s grid penalty. From there, he fended off the threat from Haas’ Kevin Magnussen, Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg and McLaren’s Fernando Alonso to secure big points.
In only the second race of the Toro Rosso and Honda partnership, the result already marks Honda’s best result since their return to the sport in 2015.
“It’s unbelievable,” said Gasly. “Sixth in qualifying, now fourth in the race, we never expected something like this, so yeah, just super happy about it.
“For the team it feels like [a win]. It’s the best result for Honda as well since they came back. I think the people in Japan, I don’t know what time it is now, but they must be super happy about it.
“It’s just great. They had a tough couple of years. It’s a great way to motivate them and show them they need to be pushing. We did a massive step this weekend.
“Since we arrived, the car was fast. To have my best qualifying ever in Q3 already was massively satisfying, but I think nothing can beat the feeling that we had with this fourth position.”
Toro Rosso’s team principal Franz Tost heaped praise on the 22-year-old, saying that Gasly looked to have more experience than seven Grands Prix.
“Pierre did a fantastic job,” said Tost. “It all started on Friday, with really good lap times and very good technical feedback.
“Then on Saturday, he qualified sixth and started fifth and in the race, he had a fantastic start, defending his position in the first corner and brought home the fourth place without any mistakes.
“He controlled the race as if he had driven 100 races in Formula 1. It was extraordinary. It was a fantastic job today. I hope that this will only be the start.”