Pierre Gasly rues “frustrating” Azerbaijan race


Credit: Red Bull Content Pool (Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda driver Pierre Gasly has told of his “frustrating” Azerbaijan Grand Prix as he finished a lowly twelfth out of thirteen finishers.

Gasly bemoaned the lack of straight line speed from his Honda power unit, saying that he could do nothing to stop cars from coming past on the 2.2 kilometre long pit straight.

“I had a really good start to the race, from seventeenth I managed to get into the top ten after the first lap,” said Gasly, who almost barrelled into his slow moving team-mate Brendon Hartley in a heart-stopping moment in Qualifying.

“But after that it was really tough to hold my position. I couldn’t do much to keep the cars behind on the straights and I was overtaken by quite a few. It was so difficult.”

The Frenchman revealed that after the final Safety Car period he had a coming together with fellow struggler Kevin Magnussen, accusing the Haas F1 Team driver of putting him in the wall, causing damage to his floor and steering column. The incident was not caught by the television cameras. Gasly was also frustrated with the missed opportunity to score points with multiple late retirements ahead of him.

“After the final restart, I had an incident with Magnussen where he put me in the wall,” added Gasly.

“It broke half of my floor, my mirror, and bent my steering. It was quite a frustrating race because with all of the retirements and without the collision I could have been in the points.”

Team-mate Hartley finished in tenth, scoring his first point of the season.