Pierre Gasly scored his best finish of the season so far last weekend but was disappointed with the result as he fought further up the order during the race.
The Alpine driver qualified fifth – his best starting position since joining the team – and moved up to fourth behind Fernando Alonso and Carlos Sainz Jnr at the start.
After falling to sixth behind Max Verstappen and George Russell, Gasly made his mandatory pit stop and later regained his position. However with five laps to go he was overtaken by Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, leaving him eighth at the flag.
“I had a great start, managed to pass for P4, and tried to keep up the pace with Sainz and Alonso in front of me,” said Gasly. “But unfortunately they were just faster than us today.
“So I tried to do the best we could. In the second stint I was running in P6 then with 15 laps to go, I needed to do a lot of fuel-saving, which was a little annoying when you know that you have a Ferrari and Mercedes behind catching and closing on you.
“I wanted to give everything we could, but at the same time we needed to save the fuel, and we saw Charles just catching us slowly lap by lap. And unfortunately with four laps to go he managed to pass.”
The circumstances of the race made it more difficult than usual for teams to accurately judge how much fuel they needed. Miami’s new track surface gave varying levels of grip during the race weekend and the grand prix ran without a Safety Car or Virtual Safety Car appearance.
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“On one side I’m a bit gutted to not get that P6, on the other if we fight one Ferrari and one Mercedes so close to the chequered flag it really shows we made a big step forward this weekend,” Gasly continued. “So we’ve got to look at the positives. Double points finish for the team and hopefully we can build up from there and close the gap with the four teams ahead of us.”
Despite calling the performance “our best weekend of the year,” Gasly admitted the team had missed opportunities to deliver more points earlier in the season.
“I think we’re all disappointed with the start in the first four races,” he said. We didn’t manage to capitalise on all the opportunities we had.
“That’s why I think today’s good to score with both cars. We obviously want more, and want to be fighting with these Mercedes and Ferrari guys ahead of us, and I think today we showed we are not too far from…