Pierre Gasly: Getting a tow was 'massive' for Q3 result in Monza
Pierre Gasly felt being able to get a tow from Renault's Carlos Sainz in Q2 was a 'massive result' in securing a place in Q3 during Saturday's qualifying session for the Italian Grand Prix.
The Frenchman who will be promoted to Red Bull Racing next season with Honda power, provided a superb result for the junior team Toro Rosso on home soil to give the Japanese manufacturer a boost in confidence as they continue to push in their development.
Gasly was able to pinch a tow from Sainz on the final run and make up the time needed to get through, beating the Haas of Kevin Magnussen into Q3 by 0.002s after the Dane got caught up with Fernando Alonso at Turn 1 on his final run.
"Honestly, it was a fantastic feeling," said Gasly. "It was really close all the time. Before the qualifying, we thought it would be difficult to get through to Q2 and finally, we made it through Q3 and qualified P9.
"[It was] just so much better than what we expected. It was probably one of my best laps of the season, so to do it in Italy for the home race of the team is an even better feeling.
"First I knew that I absolutely needed a slipstream, so all the way through practice I tried different gaps, two seconds, 2.5, 3, 3.5, to see what was the ideal in terms of gain in the straights but a loss in the corners.
"I managed to really nail it with the last run behind Carlos. And after that, every single braking really felt on the limit of the front locking getting into the corner and got all the apexes right, all the tractions fine.
"When you manage to do exactly what you want from the car, all the responses, front, turn-in, that's why I was really happy with the balance, all of the time I wanted to turn, the car was really sharp and managed to use all the track everywhere.
"When I crossed the line, I knew it was everything I could extract. To see P9, I was very happy."