While he claimed that he knew his overtake, he did not realize how close they came.
Vettel overtook Gasly just after his pitstop as they climbed uphill towards Massenet. The race viewers who were watching on television missed out on the wheel-to-wheel action between the two drivers.
Vettel breaks the ice
“I knew it would be close,” said Vettel. “But that close? It’s always difficult to foresee.
“I always had a bit of the nose ahead and I could see him, but not enough really to tell how much I was ahead. It was nearly side-by-side was only a quarter length of a car to half a car.
“And then it starts to go left, right. I guess he didn’t know if I saw him. So at some point he backed out of it. I gave him room, but I had fresh tyres. I went through the pick up as well. So not the most comfortable route.”
Gasly had to make a split-second decision
Gasly managed to retain his position just ahead of Lewis Hamilton. However, he was left with a choice of either risking a pass to Vettel or finishing the race in one piece.
“It was either put us both in the harbor, or he was P5 and I was P6. And I’d rather score eight points than than zero,” he said.
“Going up the hill, it’s not really straight,
“If the car is two metres, he gave me two metres and two centimetres.”
‘Missed five-tenths of a second’
The AlphaTauri driver missed out on keeping his position by a fraction of a second.
“I think I missed maybe five-tenths of a second going up the hill because I was side by side with him. If I’d been five tenths faster then I would have been better,” he said.
“In the out-lap I had Lewis right behind. I had to defend, I had very poor grip, we struggled with the out-laps all weekend.
“So it’s something we need to review. And we had a blue flag, lost a bit of time there.
“So you always find a bit of something. But generally our pace with the hard was not as good as with the C5 [soft].
“So still things to review how we could have done better. But we kept one Mercedes behind which is a very strong performance from us.”
Vettel enjoyed a gala time
Vettel, who narrowly avoided disaster, revisited the battle that unfolded during those moments.
“I enjoyed it because that’s the time when it when it matters,” he said.
“The first 10 laps was quite boring, Sergio [Perez] pushed in the beginning, but no threat, really and then he backed off to save his tyres.
“I knew that those laps before the pits would be the crucial ones and that turned out to be [the case].
“So I just enjoyed the fact that I was on top of the car and could push when I had to and knew how the car will respond,” he concluded.
Let us know what you think in the comments below!