Pierre Gasly’s impressive qualifying form in 2021 continued at Zandvoort, after the Frenchman claimed P4 on the grid for the Dutch Grand Prix. But with Sergio Perez in the second Red Bull claiming only P16 in qualifying, Gasly was left to question why he’d not been considered for a seat at the senior Red Bull team alongside Verstappen for 2022.
Gasly has looked on the pace throughout his time at Zandvoort, finishing in the top 10 in every practice session and segment of qualifying before claiming P4 in Q3, less than six-tenths off the Red Bull of polesitter Max Verstappen, and ahead of the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc, who’d led Free Practice 2 on Friday.
“Honestly it’s been a really good afternoon for us,” said Gasly, who equalled his best qualifying of the year from Baku after his 11th Q3 appearance of the year. “Yesterday… we didn’t look great, and also this morning, not ideal.
“But for whatever reason the car felt great in quali; I managed to find some extra time going into quali and unbelievable – to qualify ahead of the two Ferraris for us is really good.”
The result marked the second consecutive race weekend in which Gasly in the AlphaTauri has outqualified Sergio Perez in the factory Red Bull, with the Mexican a shock drop-out in Q1 after failing to set a final flying lap and ending up P16.
But with Red Bull having confirmed ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix that Perez would be kept on at the team for 2022, Gasly was asked why he hadn’t been given another shot at the team that he drove 12 races for back in 2019, before he was demoted back down to Toro Rosso/AlphaTauri.
“I wonder why,” replied Gasly. “But yeah, there were discussions, I think [Red Bull] are really happy with my performance but… they made their decision. Obviously it was a small disappointment for me as that’s where I want to be, I want to have a fast car.
Pierre Gasly ‘super pleased’ with sensational P4 at Dutch GP qualifying
“AlphaTauri, you know, give me a really strong car but it was up to [Red Bull] and unfortunately it didn’t happen,” added Gasly. “It doesn’t mean it won’t happen in the future, but for sure for next year I’m not going to drive there.”
Gasly’s team mate Yuki Tsunoda is set to start the Dutch Grand Prix in P15, meanwhile, the Japanese driver telling the press: “I was feeling confident in the car and it was good to make it through to Q2. It’s unfortunate that there was no opportunity to put a lap altogether in the end with my new tyre due to the red flag, but it is what it is.
“The pace is definitely there, I think it might’ve been possible to make it through to Q3, so there are mixed feelings about this afternoon, but overall I am happy with how today went from my side.”