Pierre Gasly says he was “disappointed and confused” by his alpine team’s decision to call him on a new set of slicks as the threat of rain increased in Monaco.
The French team decided to hedge their bets by starting Gasly on the Pirelli hard while teammate Esteban Ocon, who finished third, was shod on the medium compound.
Gasly held his position in seventh for the first 30 laps of the 78-lap race, then moved up as those who were riding like his teammate on the medium rubber made their pit stops.
However, although he expected to extend his stint, the Frenchman was called in on lap 47, a few laps before light rain started to fall over Mirabeau.
He was then called back on lap 54 to switch to intervals as conditions worsened, eventually finishing his afternoon 7th in the pecking order.
Gasly believed that a better performance by his team would likely have landed him fourth at the checkered finish, just behind Ocon.
“I have to say after my race I’m disappointed and confused because when we’re running P3 and I’m going green and we know rain is coming, I was in the perfect position to just stay long,” he argued.
“I called on the radio, I wanted to stay longer and take advantage of the conditions. And then we boxed and two laps later it rained.
“We need to analyze why we were boxing because the team had P3 and P4 on the table and that would have been a few more points.
“But once again I don’t want to share too much frustration, it’s still a beautiful day for the whole podium team, but we have some things to improve and we’ll do that next time.”
Gasly admitted that the difficult conditions in the final third of the race were tricky at times.
“It was exciting,” he said. “Some important moments, I have to say that the grip was very low. Poor visibility, blue flags, had to drive past cars and debris here and there.
“The paint (and) several crosswalks were terrible so even in fifth gear the wheels were spinning uphill. It was very difficult, but it reminded me a bit of last year’s start of the race. It was fun.
“I think there was one lap where the exit to Turn 5 sounded like ‘something bad happened’. It depended on the part of the track, some areas were drying out and had dry patches and others were very, very wet.
“I think we did the best possible job of splitting the two Ferraris, but there were at least three positions we could have scored if there had been a better call.
“But we will analyze it and it’s still a very positive day for the team in terms of performance, the best performance we’ve shown all year, so hopefully we can build from there.”