Pierre Gasly says he had to "keep [his] head together" and "stay calm" after recovering from a horror qualifying for the Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix to finish in ninth place in the race.
Gasly was eliminated from Q1 on his Alpine debut in Sakhir after having a lap time deleted for exceeding track limits, leaving him 20th and last on the grid, whereas new teammate Esteban Ocon started ninth.
However, on race day, the two drivers suffered a reversal in fortunes, with Ocon enduring a triple-penalty laden disaster while Gasly stormed through to bank points.
Speaking after the race, the 2020 Italian Grand Prix winner explained how he kept his focus after Saturday.
Viewed by others:
Keeping your head
"It was important to start on the right foot with Alpine and we definitely did it with an amazing recovery," Gasly told media, including RacingNews365.com.
"Finishing in the points, starting from where we were is very positive. I knew we had a lot more pace than we showed [in qualifying] but things did not come together.
"I was so upset [on Saturday] night that I was like: 'There is no other way than getting points tomorrow, otherwise, I'll be pissed for two weeks.'
"It was important to make up for it today and it was a lot of fun and a race where lots could happen.
"You've got to keep your head together, stay calm, push when it is time to push, and keep the tyres until it is the right time, so that is what I tried to do.
"It was a great start and definitely gives us some good hope for the coming races."
Gelling with a new team
The undercut in Bahrain was particularly powerful, with this being the building block of Gasly's comeback drive by pitting first from the DRS train he was stuck in.
Some good opportunism from the Alpine team then followed under the Charles Leclerc-triggered Virtual Safety Car, with the #10 car stopping for a set of Soft tyres for the 15 or so laps until the flag.
Gasly was impressed with how he and the team are gelling after the initial teething troubles caused by joining a new outfit.
"It was the best recovery we pulled from from P20, and I know that race after race we are going to learn about each other," he explained.
"They'll understand what car balance I like, what stuff they can do from session to session, and we'll understand each other better.
"It is definitely a good base to work from and, to be fair, the first race with a new team is always tricky.
"You're not as comfortable with the entire team and you don't have the same knowledge as when you carry on with the same team, so it was important to start on the right foot and I'm very happy with the way we've been working so far."
Revealed: 2023 F1 driver salaries
How much money will F1's class of 2023 take home with them? It's easy to assume that the likes of Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc are the sport's biggest earners, find out which F1 stars take home the biggest pay cheques:
Check out the video below: