Like in Mexico, Gasly was once again best of the rest behind the two Mercedes and Red Bulls. 

The AlphaTauri driver was “extremely happy” with his qualifying performance after making a lot of unforced errors in practice where he struggled for a good car balance.

“I must say I am extremely happy today because I had a difficult FP1,” Gasly said. “I didn’t feel good in the car, I was doing a lot of mistakes and in these conditions, I didn’t manage to make it work.

“In quali, at the start, it was a bit similar. I just tried to focus on my driving and go around the problems that I had.

“I think in the end it was probably one of my best laps because it wasn’t an easy one, the balance wasn’t exactly how I wanted but I really managed to put everything together so I am really happy.”

After a difficult practice session, Gasly credited his experience in F1 for his turnaround in qualifying, admitting that he wouldn’t have been able to do it had he been in his first year of F1.

“I am really happy because sometimes everything works well and then you do the lap, and I wouldn’t say it’s easy but clearly today I wasn’t as confident as usual and also this morning I was doing a lot more mistakes than usual,” Gasly explained.

“I wasn’t really pleased but I think probably with the experience... I know in the first year I wouldn’t be able to put something like that so I am really happy.”

Looking ahead to the rest of the weekend, Gasly is sure he will be under immense pressure from the two Ferraris and McLarens behind him on the grid.

“Obviously, we know that in the race that the gaps are still going to be bigger with the cars ahead so we will still try to maximise everything into Turn 1 and in the first lap, we know it’s a short race tomorrow but we need to place ourselves well,” he added.

“We know Lewis has a five-place grid penalty so potentially if we stay where we are we could be starting P4.

“For sure, we expect the Ferraris and McLaren to put a lot of pressure with the guys behind but it’s not an easy track to overtake so we will do everything we need to do to keep them behind.”