Pierre Gasly was pleased with the small margin between himself and the leaders during qualifying for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, where the Frenchman qualified in fifth place.
At the end of the session Gasly's top time of 1:14.790 was only 0.050 seconds behind fourth-placed Charles Leclerc in the Ferrari, whilst pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton recorded a time of 1:14.411 in the Mercedes.
"We finished [with a] super super close margin with the Ferrari ahead," Gasly told RacingNews365.com and other select media. "I think only three or four tenths from the pole position, a bit more than four tenths.
"I don't think we have ever been that close from the top. The team can be really pleased with that and with the progress we are making."
Gasly admits that he left nothing on the table during the session and was pleased with the fact that the team were able to beat the McLarens of Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo.
"I think I managed to do a very very strong lap in Q3," the AlphaTauri driver said. "[I was] putting it all together and was really on the edge everywhere, so I was really pleased with that performance.
"Especially looking at the performance of the McLaren. We were quite impressed after Q1 and Q2 and [we] managed to beat them, and to be only a couple of hundreths behind the Ferrari was a great achievement."
Before the 2021 F1 season started, AlphaTauri had set themselves the goal of reaching the top five in the constructors' battle. Unfortunately Gasly's campaign didn't get off to the ideal start in achieving this though, with the Frenchman forced to retire from the opening race in Bahrain despite a strong qualifying.
Gasly has admitted that he felt Bahrain was a missed opportunity, so the one-time race winner is hoping to make amends at Imola.
"I can push really hard and we can be right in the mix with a Ferrari and McLaren," Gasly explained. "I'm looking forward to the battle."