Starting seventh on the hard tire, Gasly moved up as the others pitted and by lap 44 he was in third place.
The drivers in the pitlane were told rain was expected, but instead of waiting for a possible opportunity to switch straight to intermediates, the team called him in for medium tires a few laps before the rain.
So he was forced to make a second stop as the rain intensified and take adapters on his way to an eventual seventh place.
“I have to say I’m very happy for the team,” he said when asked by Autosport about the race. “It’s been a fantastic weekend for us with a podium finish, congratulations also to the team and Esteban.
“I have to say that after my race I am disappointed and confused because when we go to P3 and I go green, we know rain is coming. I was in the perfect position to just stay longer.
“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 table was P3 and P4 for the team 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.”
Pierre Gasly, Alpine A523
Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport images
Gasly admitted that staying on the road in wet conditions was very difficult.
“It was exciting,” he said. “Some important moments, I have to say that the grip was very low. Poor visibility, blue flags, I had to walk here and there between cars and debris.
“The paint (and) a few 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.”
Asked if it was dangerous, he said: “I think there was one lap where the exit to Turn 5 was like ‘something bad is going to happen’. It depended on the part of the track, some areas were drying out and had dry patches and others were very, very wet.
“The problem with this is that you’re using rubber on the dry areas of the track, so you’re kind of scrubbing the tires, and when you get to the very wet areas, they feel like semi-slick tires and they get very sketchy.
“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’ll analyze it and (it was) 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.”
Gasly believes the team now has the momentum to build up for the next race in Spain.
“From two races ago in Baku where it was terrible, to two races after our best weekend, I think there are quite a few equations we need to answer.
“But the car has evolved a lot, we’ve added new parts to the package we’ve been given and it clearly seems to deliver a lot of performance, so that’s positive and I’m looking forward to next week.”