Pierre Gasly: “Starting from the back is always tricky here”

Pierre Gasly - Credit: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service

It was a weekend to forget for Pierre Gasly, as the pre-Monaco championship leader left the principality having failed to add to his points tally from the opening round in Spain.

The Red Bull-backed Prema Racing driver started on the back foot with a practice crash, and then suffered a technical issue to only qualify eighth in his group, but was then forced to start from the pit lane after missing a call to visit the weighbridge.

Gasly then hit Jimmy Eriksson during the Friday’s Feature race to break his front wing, and could only finish down in fifteenth, despite feeling he had good pace in his Prema machine.

“Starting from the pit-lane we knew it would have been a difficult race so we opted for a different strategy, adapting it to what the competition would do,” said Gasly.

“At one point I was behind Eriksson. As he made a mistake, he took me by surprise and I hit him which forced me to pit earlier than expected to also change my front wing.

“This was also a last minute pit stop and that cost us even more time. It’s a pity because the pace was very good. I managed to log the fastest lap of the race. It is quite frustrating to score no points when the potential is so high.”

Gasly was also unable to move towards the points paying positions during Saturday’s Sprint race, advancing only two positions from his starting position in finishing thirteenth, but despite his no-score in Monaco, feels the car is fast with his aim now to return to the front when the championship resumes in Baku in three weeks time.

“Starting P15 was not an easy race,” said Gasly. “It’s difficult to overtake in Monaco so I did not want to take any risks avoiding any penalty. We tried a few things on the car and backed off to check the pace. I think we had the 3rd best lap of the race but starting from the back is always tricky here.”

“The car is fast which is the most important thing. Now we will focus on our next race in Baku where we are aiming to recover from this tough weekend.”