Pierre Gasly has revealed that a piece of carbon fibre, possibly from the car of Daniel Ricciardo, struck his visor on the opening lap of the Russian Grand Prix on Sunday, with the Frenchman admitting it was a scary experience to go through.
The Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda driver was towards the rear of the field heading into turn two and exiting the turn debris flicked up and hit him, coming beneath the halo head protection system, with the carbon fibre piece ending up in his cockpit.
“I think Daniel lost a piece of carbon, which went straight into my visor, so this was really really scary,” Gasly is quoted as saying by Motorsport.com. “I thought it was going through and straight into my eye, and finally it touched the visor and then came into the cockpit.
“In Turn 4 I had to take the carbon piece and throw it from the cockpit. At the time I had like five tenths of a second to see it flying and just hitting the visor – maybe a winglet that came from somewhere, I think contact with Daniel.
“But it came my way, pointing towards me and straight in my right eye. When I saw it coming first I was like, ‘it’s going through the visor’. Finally, the visor is really strong, it hit it and fell into the cockpit. It was pretty scary.”
Gasly says the outcome of the incident could have been different if the debris had hit at a much higher speed, so it may be worth the FIA to look into strengthening the visor.
“The visor seems to be pretty strong, but maybe we need to keep improving and try to make it as strong as possible,” added Gasly. “The speed as well has an effect on the impact.
“At that time, I was coming out of Turn 2, so I wasn’t so fast. Maybe the impact with it luckily wasn’t as big as it would have been if I would have been at 300km/h.”