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Pierre Gasly

Gasly: P4 behind Verstappen and Mercedes is like pole position

Pierre Gasly couldn't hide his delight after qualifying fourth for the Dutch Grand Prix. The AlphaTauri driver isn't sure where the team found the pace after some struggles prior to Saturday's qualifying session.

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To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool / Getty Images

Although he won't start Sunday's Dutch Grand Prix from pole position, Pierre Gasly believes his fourth-place showing is just as good considering things haven't been smooth for the AlphaTauri driver this weekend.

Max Verstappen beat Lewis Hamilton to top spot in Saturday's qualifying session at Zandvoort, with the second Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas lining up in third.

After Verstappen's Red Bull teammate, Sergio Perez, was unable to make it out of Q1, Gasly took advantage of the opening to put his car on the second row, a result he was very happy with.

"I'm extremely happy," Gasly told RacingNews365.com and other members of the media. "Qualifying fourth behind the two Mercedes and Max is like pole position for us. Especially because it hasn't been an easy weekend until now.

"Going into qualifying we weren't that confident about our pace. We just managed to find some extra time, even though we were always very competitive, so I'm extremely happy to qualify fourth.

"We can't explain [where we found that time], especially in front of the two Ferraris, as they looked extremely strong. But starting with Q1, I felt very good in the car straight away

"Zandvoort's not an easy track, nobody knew how it would be in F1. We played a bit with the setup, trying to find some direction, and I'm really pleased that overall, as a team, we managed to do a very strong job.

"So one part of the job is done, and then, obviously, we have tomorrow, but we put ourselves in the best position possible. "

There have been several red flags so far this weekend, and that trend continued during qualifying as the Williams duo of Nicholas Latifi and George Russell went off track.

With Zandvoort an unforgiving circuit when it comes to mistakes, Gasly is ready to pick up the pieces should the frontrunners slip up.

"It's gonna be a long race," Gasly added. "We saw a lot of drivers making mistakes and going off track.

"It's so easy to make a mistake on this track and a lot of things can happen. That's why it will be important to make the right decisions."

Video: The secrets of the the new Zandvoort F1 circuit

Follow Rudy van Buren as he takes you on a flying lap around the home of the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort.

RN365 News dossier F1 2021 Dutch Grand Prix

The latest news about the Dutch Grand Prix straight from Zandvoort.

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