Gasly surprised by the lack of investigation after his contact with Leclerc

The AlphaTauri driver was unable to go beyond the first lap during the last Styrian Grand Prix due to a puncture caused by his rival Ferrari. 

Published on 01/07/2021 à 16:46

Julien BILLIOTTE

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Gasly surprised by the lack of investigation after his contact with Leclerc

The start of the race had turned sour between the two friends / © DPPI

Pierre Gasly et Charles Leclerc Although they may be very close, these bonds of friendship did not lessen the disappointment of the Frenchman after his premature retirement during the recent Styrian Grand Prix.

Qualified in a good 6th place, the driver Alpha Tauri had his left rear tire blundered, cut by the front wing of the Ferrari of the Monegasque during an unfortunate contact in the first round. 

If he does not hold a grudge against Leclerc, the Norman did not expect his childhood friend to escape the slightest federal investigation. 

« Obviously, he didn't do it on purpose but the consequences on my race were enormous., rewound Gasly for his return to Red Bull Ring this Thursday, ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix (July 2-4). 

When I see Valtteri (Bottas, Editor’s note) receiving a sanction of 3 places on the grid for a spin in the pits in free practice which had not penalized anyone, I am surprised that there was nothing. 

If I had to do it again, I would do exactly the same thing. I'll go talk to Michael about it (Masi, FIA race director, Editor’s note).” 

Gasly clarified that Leclerc came to see him after the race to explain himself.

« I was still pissed, it didn't matter if it was a friend, I was really pissed, added the Rouennais. But I know Charles, I know that he is a competitor who plays according to the rules of the art, there was no harmful intention on his part.

It's hard to swallow but it's part of the hazards of the race. It has been four years since we F1. We started almost at the same time. We often crossed paths on the track and this time it went wrong and I had to abandon. We just have to make sure this doesn't happen again ».

  • Leclerc sorry but straight in his boots

Forced to change his face after the incident, Leclerc managed to move up from 18th to 7th place in the race, winning the honorary title of “ Driver of the Day ". Asked about the touch with Gasly, the Scuderia driver admitted that he would have “ could have done differently to avoid it ».

After the Styrian GP, ​​Ross Brawn, sporting director of the F1 group, noted that Leclerc was more likely to find himself in scuffles when he plays in the middle of the pack compared to his races at the front. 

« He must maintain his calm because it is a much livelier area of ​​the plateau ", declared the former Ferrari technical director and team principal Mercedes, who saw a resemblance to the great Michael Schumacher when the latter started further on the grid.

Leclerc, who also came into contact with Kimi Räikkönen (Alfa Romeo), refutes any need to change approach in his management of the first lap or his wheel-to-wheel duels. 

« I am quite satisfied with my performance in close combathe concluded. I was at the limit last weekend but it helped us greatly to move up the rankings without losing too much time. It's always a delicate balance to find. I put a little too much at the start but I spoke about it with Pierre and the incident is closed ». 

In the front row of the battle between Gasly and Leclerc, Fernando Alonso for his part regretted that the race management did not flinch when the AlphaTauri driver and his rival Ferrari had veered wide at the first corner. 

« I was the only one to respect the track limits in the area, the two cars which started in front of me missed the apex and still came out in front of me », remarked the pilot Alpine

Unless there is an avoidable collision, the regulator has a habit of not intervening too much in first-lap skirmishes, often considering them as racing incidents. 

Julien BILLIOTTE

AUTOhebdo deputy editor-in-chief. The feather dipped in gall.

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