Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso, Sochi Autodrom, 2018

Gasly feared debris would hit his eye in “really scary” incident

2018 Russian Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by and

Pierre Gasly suffered a near-miss when debris struck his helmet visor near his eye on the first lap of the Russian Grand Prix.

The Toro Rosso driver described how a piece of Daniel Ricciardo’s car struck him at the start.

“At turn one Daniel lost a piece of carbon which went straight into my visor,” he said. “This was really scary because I thought it was going right through and it was straight in my eye.

“It touched the visor and then came in the cockpit, so in turn four I had to take the carbon piece and throw it from the cockpit and then after that the brake just got really bad.”

“At the time I had like five tenths of a second just to see it flying and hitting the visor. It was a piece, maybe a winglet it came from contact with Daniel and someone and it came pointing towards me and straight in my right eye.

“When I saw it coming I thought ‘fuck, it’s going through the visor’ and fortunately the visor is really strong because it hit it and fell down in the cockpit.”

Gasly said the incident could have been worse if he had been at a quicker point on the circuit. “I don’t know for sure [but] the speed has an effect on the impact.

“At the time I was coming out of turn two so I wasn’t going that fast so I don’t know if maybe the speed is a problem with it. Luckily it wasn’t as big as I felt it would have been at 300[kph].”

The FIA announced earlier this year it will mandate a new, stronger helmet specification from the 2019 F1 season. “The visor seems to be pretty strong but maybe we need to keep trying to improve the thickness of the visor,” said Gasly.

@HazelSouthwell contributed to this article.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2018 F1 season

Browse all 2018 F1 season articles

Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

13 comments on “Gasly feared debris would hit his eye in “really scary” incident”

  1. So, the Halo doesn’t work???

    1. no one ever claimed that the Halo was perfect, probably wouldn’t have helped Massa and wouldn’t have done anything for Bianchi either.

    2. No, it does not work for smaller pieces of debris Tim. As is pretty obvious from it’s design, it was never even intended to.

      Remember they reinforced the visor area of the helmets with the zylon strip to avoid things hitting the driver. I’d say here the helmet did it’s job as intended.

  2. The reason why IndyCar is working on the aeroscreen.

    1. I think the main reason for IndyCar to work on the aeroscreen is visibility, whereas Halo is blocking driver’s view in oval tracks.

  3. The Halo doesn’t stop debris
    The aero screen wont deflect a flying McLaren eg, spa,
    maybe a combo of both ?

    1. And a roof and windows and closed wheels – oh look a GT car

    2. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
      1st October 2018, 17:54

      Red Bull Aeroscreen seemed like a good compromise of both

  4. Yeah, no.
    A small piece of carbon doesn’t have enough mass to penetrate a polycarbonate face shield.
    Not even at 300 kph.
    Standard street face shields will withstand a pointed lead pellet at 500 kph.

    1. Very interesting point. Thanks for sharing.

    2. Agree – you could fire a shutgun at it without penetrating – its like shooting glasses for hunters – just 5 times stronger and thicker…..

      GAS is just trying to make us forget his bad result…

    3. Perhaps, but that is no more comforting when you see something flying directly at your face.

      Anon, what the hell are you on about? Both Gasly and Hartley very clearly had brake failure through no fault of your own. When your front brakes don’t work and the rears do, you spin around exactly the way they both did at the same point.

  5. Glad Gasly’s visor did the job, this time. Thank goodness.

    Maybe I missed it, but still curious to hear more about what caused the double dnf for STR. Identical brake failures? Or…?

Comments are closed.