Pierre Gasly admits he was surprised that his first lap clash with Charles Leclerc that ended his Styrian Grand Prix last weekend was not investigated by the stewards.
The Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda driver had started an excellent sixth at the Red Bull Ring, but the Frenchman’s race was over on lap one as contact with the Scuderia Ferrari driver on the exit of turn one punctured his left-rear tyre and ultimately broke his suspension.
Stewards deemed that no investigation was necessary for the clash, feeling it was just a usual first lap incident, but Gasly says the way his race was ended as a result of the contact with Leclerc was potentially a reason for it to be looked at closer than it was.
And he expects the topic to be discussed with FIA Race Director Michael Masi on Friday evening’s briefing during the Austrian Grand Prix weekend.
“In the end it doesn’t really matter to me, but I must say I was a bit surprised at the time that there was no further investigation,” Gasly is quoted as saying by Motorsport.com. “Obviously it wasn’t done on purpose, and it’s not something which Charles deliberately did, but for sure it had quite a big consequence on my race.
“Especially after seeing Valtteri [Bottas] getting a three-place grid penalty for losing the control of his car in the pitlane, but not really affecting anyone else’s race, and this, which obviously had an impact on my race, I must say I was surprised.
“But at the end of the day, I just care about my own race, and there’s not much that could change anything on that side. So it’s just something we’re probably going to talk about with Michael.”
Leclerc approached Gasly post-race to talk over the incident, but the Frenchman knows the Monegasque racer did not do it on purpose.
He came to see me after the race: I was still pissed off,” said Gasly. “It doesn’t matter even if you are friends. Still, I was still quite upset.
“But I know him, I know the way he races, he is a fair guy and you can see that he didn’t do it on purpose. It’s just hard but it’s part of racing, and these things happens once in a while.”