Gasly Reprimanded for Hamilton Incident during Opening Suzuka Practice

by Paul Hensby
Pierre Gasly - Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda - Suzuka International Racing Course

Pierre Gasly says he will need to use some of the data from team-mate Brendon Hartley after a troubled day at the Suzuka International Racing Course, with the Frenchman being restricted to just nine laps in the afternoon session following a fuel system issue.

The Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda was positive after the opening session in Japan that saw him end eleventh fastest, although he was hit with a reprimand by the stewards after running slowly on the racing line as Lewis Hamilton approached the final chicane.

Hamilton was forced to take evasive action around the slow-moving STR13 driver, with Gasly being handed his second reprimand of the season as a result, adding to the one he earned for a first lap incident with Esteban Ocon in the French Grand Prix.  Should he get a third before the end of the season, he will earn himself a grid penalty.

A fuel system issue saw him spend most of the afternoon session in the pit lane, but he did manage to get some laps on the board, ultimately closing out the day with the thirteenth fastest time.  However, with team-mate Hartley getting a good amount of running done across both sessions and ending inside the top ten, Gasly was encouraged that they can enjoy a strong weekend in Suzuka.

“It was a good morning as I was able to do a few laps and get a good feeling with the car, which was positive,” said Gasly.  “We had some really good data, but unfortunately we ran into some trouble this afternoon, so we didn’t complete many laps in FP2.

“I was only able to do one push lap for performance and then a couple of laps for the long run, which means I didn’t learn too much. It’s good that Brendon had a clean session, so we can use his data to improve the performance and get a good result for Qualifying tomorrow.”

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