Hungarian Grand Prix will remain special for Pierre Gasly because it was the first time he saw a blue flag being waved to make way for his car.
The Frenchman finished sixth in the race, having started at P6, making him the best of the rest on the grid. This is his third big points haul for the season.
The Toro Rosso driver was the last car from the lead to finish the lap and was laughing out loud recalling his first experience of lapping cars.
He recalled: “As soon as I started to arrive behind the Williams, I think [it was] actually the first time I saw blue flags for cars ahead of me.
“So when I saw that, I thought, ‘F***, it means I am doing a good race now’.
“Usually the blue flag is for me, [to move aside] for the Ferrari or the Mercedes, but that was a pretty good feeling.
“I’ve been lapped in Bahrain [where he finished fourth]. I didn’t lap other cars. It may be the first time I haven’t been lapped and I’ve lapped other cars.”
Gasly ran at P6 for most of the race but towards the finishing laps, Kevin Magnussen was trying to push ahead as the race leaders lapped the Haas driver.
When asked how he thought the race went, Gasly said it “went like a dream” although he was “pushing flat out” because of that pressure.
He added: “If it looked like a lonely race, it was really hard work.”
The Junior Red Bull outfit has been going through a roller coaster performance this season. They got fourth at Bahrain, a seventh at Monaco and now a sixth at Hungary. But despite these positions, they are still lagging in the midfield battles.
Gasly said: “After the last three, four races, I’m quite shocked again to be able to get that P6.
“We were so far, last weekend in qualifying we got stuck in Q1, behind one Williams. There are just tracks where the car works much better. It’s quite surprising.”
Gasly’s teammate was not so lucky. Although Brendon Hartley started in the top 10, a bad strategy pushed him down to 11th as Fernando Alonso and Romain Grosjean overtook a bunch of cars early in the race.
The New Zealander said: “I didn’t make any mistakes. It hurts to drop out of the points so early in the race with the strategy.”
He added: “It’s frustrating. I didn’t do anything wrong all weekend but Pierre had a good race, he was in clear air. It worked out for Pierre, but not for me.”