Pierre Gasly says his best lap during qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix “felt like a pole position” for his Toro Rosso Formula 1 team. 

Gasly, who received praise from Red Bull boss Christian Horner in Brazil for his performances since his mid-season demotion from the senior team, made it into Q3 for the fourth race in succession and set the seventh-fastest time, just 1.3s off the pace of polesitter and former teammate Max Verstappen

The Frenchman will be evaluated to sixth on the Interlagos grid for Sunday’s grand prix once Charles Leclerc’s engine penalty is applied. 

“I’m really happy with how qualifying went today,” Gasly explained. 

“I’d like to pass on a massive thanks to the team for giving me a competitive car.

“It feels like pole position for us today as P7 in the midfield is the best we can expect. We knew it was going to be a tight Qualifying, so it feels great to get my fourth Q3 in a row.

“I felt good in the car all weekend, now we need to stay focussed for the race and finish the job by scoring as many points as possible.”

It was a strong day for Honda with three of its four-powered cars making it into the top 10. Gasly's Toro Rosso teammate Daniil Kvyat was the odd one out after a scruffy run in Q2 saw him eliminated in 16th. 

“It’s just a shame,” Kvyat said. “I was feeling really good in the car during FP3 this morning and I was positive going into qualifying. 

“Then in the afternoon, the car wasn’t in the right balance window anymore. 

“On the second run I made a couple of mistakes which didn’t allow me to improve on my time, I’m not sure what happened, but I lost the rhythm and I couldn’t put everything together.

“However, my race pace is generally strong, and even if P16 isn’t ideal but let’s see what we can do in the race.”

 

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