Pierre Gasly hailed his shock podium in Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix as feeling like “the best day of my life” after taking second place for Toro Rosso at Interlagos.

Gasly looked set to finish sixth as the leading midfield driver entering the final third of the race, only for a string of incidents to promote the Frenchman into second place ahead of the last two lap restart following a late Safety Car.

Gasly held on in a drag race with Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton to the line to take second place by 0.062 seconds, marking his first podium in F1 and Toro Rosso’s best result in over 11 years.

“It’s just the best day of my life right now. So many emotions,” Gasly said.

“I’m thinking about all the people that helped me through my career, to put me in Formula 1 and help me, just all the people that supported me, and today with that result, I just want to thank all of these guys.

“I don’t know when I crossed the line, I had so many things going through my mind, and so many emotions as well, and yeah, it’s just incredible.”

Gasly had dropped to fourth on the final restart, only for contact between Hamilton and Red Bull’s Alexander Albon to promote him back into second, at which point he sensed a podium was on.

“I think in the last lap, of course when I was P4, I saw Lewis had new tyres, and I knew he was going to try something. Then he tried, they collided, when I saw we could go through this and we were second, I was like OK this is looking really good,” Gasly said.

“I still had Lewis behind me until the last centimetre before the line. He was really trying and I could see his front wing. I really didn’t want to let him past, because I wanted to hold onto that second position.

“I must say a big thanks to Honda because without the progress they have made, without them, I would never have held the second place on the line. Big congrats and thanks to all the guys.”