Pierre Gasly has told of his disappointment in retiring on the first lap of Sunday’s French Grand Prix after heading into the weekend with optimism.
The Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda driver made contact with his countryman Esteban Ocon at Turn 3, eliminating both drivers on the spot. The collision meant that Romain Grosjean was the sole Frenchman left in the race, but he could not score any points – finishing in eleventh.
Speaking after the race, Gasly said that the result was “tough” to comprehend and revealed that he thought that Ocon had seen him on his inside.
“I’m very disappointed, it was tough to finish the race after just three corners,” moaned Gasly.
“In Turn 3 I went on the inside and I thought Esteban had seen me, when I saw he closed the door I couldn’t avoid the collision.
“It’s a shame to have this incident – especially at the French GP with two French drivers.”
Gasly had entered the French weekend with the latest-spec Honda engine, after being refused the unit for the Canadian Grand Prix, despite his pleas. It is estimated that the upgrade provides an extra 27hp, but it could not propel him into the top ten in qualifying for the third time this season.
The 22-year-old reiterated that the premature end to his home weekend was “difficult to take”.
“It’s very difficult to take,” he added.
“I really wanted to do well this weekend and it’s definitely not wanted from my home race.”
The retirement meant that Gasly lost ground on tenth Kevin Magnussen in the Drivers’ Championship, after the Dane finished sixth for the Haas F1 Team.