Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso, Baku City Circuit, 2018

Gasly was “100% sure” he would crash in 300kph near-miss with team mate

2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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Pierre Gasly said he was convinced he was going to crash in his near-miss with team mate Brendon Hartley during qualifying.

Gasly narrowly avoided hitting his team mate, who had slowed with a puncture approaching turn 15, at around 300kph. “It was really, really scary,” said Gasly.

“For me I was 100% for sure I was going to crash into him. We arrived so fast on that part of the track, massive delta of speed. I went left, right, left, right so I didn’t really know which way to go and then last moment I turned to the right. But from the inside everything was so fast, I was sure it was too late and I was going to take off on his rear wheel.”

Hartley had slowed abruptly after discovering he’d punctured a tyre after clipping the wall a few corners earlier. Gasly, who was on a flying lap, didn’t see his team mate until the last moment.

“Turn 14 is sort of a blind corner, I could not really see him until I did this last left kink before turn 15,” he said.

“I managed to avoid him but then I went on the kerb so when I braked I had both wheels in the air, could not slow down the car, it was scary. And I was upset because I could not improve and it ruined my lap. Just a shame it happened.”

Hartley explained Gasly arrived behind him very soon after he picked up his puncture.

Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren, Baku City Circuit, 2018
Azerbaijan GP qualifying in pictures
“On my first actual attempt I clipped the wall very lightly but it punctured the tyre,” he said. “I only realised this as I went through the high-speed left.

“I braked very abruptly, I realised I had a problem, I was trying to understand. And then through the blind corner Pierre came very quickly and I completely got in the way.

“I didn’t know what way to go initially because if I was on the right side I would be in the way later and if I was on the left I could also be in the way for the braking. In the end it looked very amateurish, I apologised to him and the team.”

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Keith Collantine
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16 comments on “Gasly was “100% sure” he would crash in 300kph near-miss with team mate”

  1. The second time Hartley makes a important mistake. The difference between him and Gasly is to big in the same team.
    I hope he develops the skills to be in F1 very soon!

    1. He had a puncture so where should he have gone?

      1. he should have been well off the racing line, not in the middle of the track. he apologised, which for a racing driver means he knew he was clearly in the wrong, and he’s not a d|ck.

        1. Michael Brown (@)
          28th April 2018, 21:20

          @frood19 To be fair, this is at a part of the track where the racing line and braking zone travel from the left side of the track to the right side, in addition to the track getting narrower. All of that makes passing cars very difficult.

  2. Was made worse because Gasly initially seemed to be going to pass him on the left, and Hartley – who had started moving left, expecting a pass on the right – reacted to that by swerving back across to the right.

    Only, by that time, Gasly had realised he didn’t have space to safely go down the left and had to go right as well… which is the direction Hartley was now moving in.

    Had Gasly picked right originally (obviously not blaming him at all, it was a mental coin toss) I think he’d have been OK finishing the lap, and he might have only lost a tenth or two.

  3. Josh (@canadianjosh)
    28th April 2018, 19:51

    Gasly needs to calm down on his radio, I get racing brings out emotions we didn’t know we had in our bodies but his radio expletive tirades make him seem like a little jackass to me.

    1. Gasly had just benn millimetres from death, and you tell him that he needs to calm down his reaction, so that he doesn’t look like a jackass to you… OK, if he’s still going mental at Hartley next week, fair enough, but give the kid a bit of a break. It was a terrifying moment.

    2. Josh (@canadianjosh)
      Your comments are way off the mark. He has just had a closest miss I have seen in while. Had his quick reactions not been in good order, to avoid a massive crash, we’d be having another conversation. He had every right to use those expletives. I say more we hear from drivers in his manner when things go wrong, the better. We can at least have some more characters on the grid.

  4. It initially looks like he’s trying to use the slipstream which undoubtedly confused Hartley a bit. Could have been a dreadful accident, thankfully avoided.

  5. Yet I’m quite sure Halo central pillar actually got a role in this near miss. Gasly actually did see his team mate when he was big enough to not be hindered by the pillar. It will happen again imo and in even worse conditions, like on a Silverstone or Monza straight, where cars proceed straight ahead with no lane change.

  6. As much a I’d love to see Hartley do well, he just doesn’t quite seem to be able to get it together in F1
    I can see him being replaced if he doesn’t show something better soon.

    1. Replaced by whom, if I may ask?

  7. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
    29th April 2018, 10:18

    Well I haven’t heard anything about Hartley getting a penalty. If it actually was downright dangerous what he did, he would have got a massive penalty. But he’s got nothing from what I’ve seen. So I think the criticism he’s getting is a bit much.

    I think Gasly has to be partly responsible also. He clearly had slight there was a very slow car ahead. Hartley probably should have been further over to one side. But the fact is, Gasly suddenly pulled to the left. Hartly noticed this and soon reacted by turning right. At that point Gasly suddenly decided to turn in the right too. And then Hartley yet again tried to get out the way by going left again. I personally think that was a really odd choice by Gasly.

    I think Both have to be partly to blame. But I think the biggest problem is that there were no yellow flags due to Hartlys problem. He couldn’t have gone any quicker with his circumstances. As there has been no penalty, I am wondering if they are not blaming Hartley at all. He may have to start on the back row due to being over 107% off the times, but that isn’t the same as getting a penalty and penalty points.

    1. @thegianthogweed

      Yes that certainly was a scary one and I agree Gasly should take some of the blame as he could have backed off more. Hartley apologised more than I have seen any F1 driver in a long time, he knew that could have been a massive shunt, especially if thrown into the air and over the barriers. Kudos to Gasly for those quick reflexes.

      The 107% rule shouldn’t apply as he will show the stewards he had a representative time during the free practice sessions. They usually only apply this when there is a genuine nag out there that cant do a quick time.

      On that, can anyone recall the last time the 107% rule was applied on someone?

  8. @thegianthogweed

    It was just one of those things, it is likely that the flash Gasly may have seen of Hartley going into the corner wasn’t enough to determine his speed. Hartley said that it was going around the corner he felt something wrong and lifted. It was the the case of trying to get out of the way (the car fighting to pull right).

    Had there been any blame to lay, the Stewards would have done so, either to one of the drivers concerned or both of them.

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