Pierre Gasly feared he and Sebastian Vettel would end up in the barriers as they fought wheel-to-wheel in one of the only dramatic moments in Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix.
Gasly's AlphaTauri exited the pits alongside Vettel's Aston Martin after the four-time F1 champion had pushed hard to ‘overcut’ his rival through the pit stops and jump into fifth place in the processional race, leading to a battle up the hill.
Gasly said: “I thought we would both end up in the Armco it was that close. He managed to just have half a car in front of us and keep it in front.
“We literally came out side by side up the hill and he managed to get on top of us but [it was] very close. I tried the overtake button, everything I had, but for some reason, it didn’t give me the edge on him.
“He didn’t give me any room. It was very hard racing, I told him, but we both made it and if I had been in his seat I would have done the same thing. Nicely done from him.”
After missing his chance, Gasly dropped in behind Vettel for sixth and resumed a fierce defence of the place from Lewis Hamilton, in which he knew he could not put a foot wrong.
Gasly, who had started ahead of Hamilton after Mercedes struggled in qualifying, added: “It was quite intense because with Lewis right behind us for 78 laps we knew we couldn’t do any mistake because otherwise they will pass us.
“The first stint was great. They put some pressure on us by boxing and trying to undercut so we had to cover him, which I believe was the right choice.
"Seb and Sergio [Perez] managed to overcut, which was a shame, but [it was] still a good race, very intense and some important points.”