Pierre Gasly admitted his near-miss with team-mate Brendon Hartley during Qualifying for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on Saturday was the ‘scariest moment’ of his career.
The Frenchman came up on his slow-moving Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda team-mate at the kink just before turn fifteen and was forced to take evasive action despite not knowing which way Hartley was going to move, which was made even more difficult as the New Zealander was running with a puncture, remnants of hitting the wall moments earlier.
The two came incredibly close to making contact and with the speed difference as it was, had Gasly clipped the back of Hartley, it could have been a massive accident for them both, but the reactions of the Frenchman avoided the contact.
“It was probably the scariest moment of my career!” admitted Gasly. “I was sure I was going to crash into Brendon because it’s the part of the track where we’re going at 320kph.
“Brendon had slowed down massively and I had to change direction when I saw he was slow, but I didn’t know if he was going left or right but I managed to avoid him.”
Up until that point, Gasly was on course for a big improvement on his lap time that would have seen him comfortably advance through to the second phase of Qualifying, but ultimately he was left frustrated down in seventeenth.
“I’m really disappointed that I couldn’t make it to Q2,” said the Frenchman. “I was improving by sixth/seven tenths which means Q2 was on the cards, this would have been a good result after the tough weekend in China.
“It’s a big shame for the team but it’s good that in the end we avoided a crash. It’s clear that no one wanted anything like this to happen, but it’s the second time we’ve had a coming together so we need to make sure that we avoid situations like these.”