Pierre Gasly said a post-race radio message to his Toro Rosso team was not meant to disrespect Fernando Alonso following criticism of his comment.
The Toro Rosso driver told his team “now we can fight” after taking the chequered flag fourth in Bahrain. Alonso used the same words two weeks earlier when he finished fifth in Australia.
“It was just a little joke, that’s it,” he said. “I think we need to give credit back to Honda. In the end, they have had a tough three years with McLaren and to finish P4 in our second race with them was just amazing.”
“So it was a way to give them credit, because they are working really hard and I think they need credit for the hard work they are doing.”
Gasly revealed his comments had prompted a backlash. “I had pretty tough messages after the race, by some Spanish people, what actually are quite crazy.
“I have huge respect for Fernando so I’m just making it clear. Don’t get me wrong. Fernando for sure is one of the best drivers of all time in Formula One, and one of the drivers I looked up to when I was young, one of my idols actually.
“No, I have huge respect for him, so it was nothing related, just a high comment for Honda because I think they deserved the credit.”
2018 F1 season
- Honda’s jet division helped F1 engineers solve power unit problem
- McLaren Racing losses rise after Honda split
- Ricciardo: Baku “s***show” was Red Bull’s fault
- “Drive to Survive Episode 1: All to Play For” reviewed
- F1’s television and social media audiences rose last year