Pierre Gasly, Red Bull, Silverstone, 2019

“I’m not holding him”: Why Horner had to order Gasly to let Verstappen through

2019 British Grand Prix

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Red Bull team principal Christian Horner had to order Pierre Gasly to let Max Verstappen through after Gasly did not respond to a series of reminders not to delay his team mate.

Verstappen fell behind Gasly when he made a second pit stop during the Safety Car period. When the race restarted, both drivers were on hard tyres and went on to finish the race without pitting again.

Gasly’s race engineer told him three times over the course of more than a lap that his team mate was immediately behind him on a different strategy. Gasly replied following the third message

Meanwhile Verstappen complained he was being held up by his team mate, telling the pit wall: “I’m getting stuck here.” Gasly was also dropped back from the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel ahead of him, while Verstappen was under pressure from Charles Leclerc in the other Ferrari.

Red Bull escalated the matter to the team principal. Christian Horner issued a firm instruction for Gasly to let Verstappen through, which he immediately complied with. Gasly slowed down on the Hanger straight, letting Verstappen by, which cost him around two seconds.

“It was a different strategy and we thought it would be probably better for the bigger picture,” said Gasly. “Maybe we lost a bit of time there, it could have been a bit different but it was not massive. We were on different strategies.”

Gasly was involved in a similar situation in Brazil last year. He was repeatedly told to let his team mate Brendon Hartley past, but failed to do so for several laps.

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Red Bull’s messages to Gasly

To Gasly:Lap 26, start/finish straight
Remember we’re different strategies. Don’t hold Max up, we’re on different strategies.
To Gasly:Wellington Straight
Don’t lose time with Max, let him go if he tries, follow him after Vettel.
To Gasly:Lap 27, Wellington Straight
Let’s not hold Max up, Pierre, don’t hold Max up.
Gasly:I’m not holding him.
To Gasly:Understood, radio latched.
To Gasly:Exit of Copse, Horner
Pierre, it’s Christian, you need to let Max go, you’re on a different strategy.
To Gasly:Stowe
Thanks mate.

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37 comments on ““I’m not holding him”: Why Horner had to order Gasly to let Verstappen through”

  1. If I remember correctly, Gasly had let Max through within 2-3 corners of him catching up and in such a way that he nor Max lost time.

    1. Chaitanya, if you look at the lap times, it did actually have a noticeable impact on Gasly’s lap times when he let Verstappen through.

      The lap times on the lap before Gasly had to let Verstappen past, and then on the lap after he let him past, are as follows:
      Lap 26: 1m30.884s
      Lap 27: 1m31.765s
      Lap 28: 1m30.482s

      Judging by his lap times before and after that instruction was sent, it seems to have cost Gasly around 1.0 to 1.2 seconds to let Verstappen through.

      In some ways, it could also be said that Red Bull’s decision had the side effect of helping Leclerc to close up on Gasly, and perhaps helped cost Gasly his position to Leclerc – Gasly had been around 2.2s clear of Leclerc on lap 26, but in the process of allowing Verstappen through, he ended up allowing Leclerc to close up to less than a second behind him.

      1. Gasly did not let Verstappen through after the restart. I was in Club corner and saw the lockup after the restart and the fight over subsequent laps, which put verstappen on the backfoot. Now he may not have been attacking Gasly aggressively having been told he would be let past. But the fact that Gasly did not comply did cost Verstappen dearly in laptime having to fight off Leclerc instead of attacking Vettel.

        It is strange reasoning to state that it allowed Leclerc to close up on Gasly. Leclerc and Verstappen were both clearly faster than Gasly. If you have two teammates in front of a faster competitor, you do not use the faster one (one the fresher tyres) as a buffer to the slowest one.

        Now in the situation of a team order you give your own faster driver (and the guy in 3rd for the Championship) a bit of a buffer by letting him go through. Your slower driver can make life harder on the competitor (Leclerc) and your faster guy can put pressure on the next competitor (Vettel), or you can have a little ‘Trulli-train’ behind Captain Slow in which your key contender gets consistently challenged by the guy(s) from behind.

        Seeing how easily Verstappen pulled a gap to Gasly and closed the gap to Vettel, Red Bull did exactly the right thing.

  2. Not holding him, but holding him up…

  3. Doesn’t respect his race engineer. Does respect Horner.

  4. Gasly isn’t a fan of moving over for a teammate… he made that pretty clear when Hartley was behind him on a couple of occasions last year. He had no problem asking the team to get Hartley to move over though…

    This year he’s been getting smashed by Verstappen, which is why he moved over yesterday. It must have really crushed Gasly’s soul..

    1. @todfod if there’s one driver I don’t mind being held up by his teammate it’s Verstappen after his antics with Sainz and Toro Rosso. That said I’m not sure Gasly can really complain given that he was ahead due to Max’s extra stop under the safety car.

      Yes this year has been bad for Gasly but this weekend he was very close to Verstappen. His race pace seemed just as good in the first stint and was good in the second when you take into account that he was on older tyres. Hopefully he can uncrush his soul in the second half of the season…

    2. @todfod

      Gasly isn’t a fan of moving over for a teammate

      And Verstappen is?

      1. @johnrkh

        And how often does Verstappen have a quicker teammate on his tail?

        1. All the time: his own shadow.

          1. Good one….clap clap clap…

        2. @todfodd a few times against Sainz and he didn’t like that at all.

        3. @todfod Ricciardo more than once.

          1. @johnrkh

            And how many of those ‘more than once’ occasions was he asked to move over?

          2. @johnrkh To be fair, he did comply. I remember Hockenheim 2016 when Verstappen let Ricciardo past, but I can’t recall any more instances of Verstappen being asked to let Ricciardo through.

        4. @todfod I don’t think Verstappen has ever been asked or told to move over while at RB. But that’s not because he was always faster, the politics inside the team would dictate that.

          1. @johnrkh Like Mashiat mentioned previously Max did get a team order in Hockenheim 2016 or 2017 .. he complied to the order to let Ricciardo by ..

          2. Verstappen was put on a worse strategy in Germany 2016, he was leading in front of Ricciardo , though Dan had a point advantage due to more races in the RBR. This very against RBR’s philosophie of having the front runner take the best strategy. In Hunngary that same year he was not allowed to get in DRS range to Dan reuslting in the legandary ‘I’m driving like a grandma’ radio message. In Canada he was told to speed up…which he did.

            Against Sainz his ‘No’at Sinmgapore spoke volumes, Verstappen is hardly ever slower than his team mate and won’t more over for no reason… Sainz did some payback holding up Verstappen in the opening race in 2016 (Australia) completely ruining his P5 position. After that it was quite clear Sainz wouldn’t stand a chance at RBR.

            This race Gadly was simply in the way, knowing he was the slowest out of the top 6, he was only stuck in between… it took away Verstappen’s momentum… but it’s part of racing. Gasly did ok… though would have finished P6 while Max was figthing to get to P2

          3. @johnrkh

            They let them race.. which was fair. I don’t remember either of them being asked to move over.

            In the Toro Rosso days, I do remember that Sainz and Verstappen were both given team orders at some point and neither were happy about it. Both Verstappen and Sainz have also disobeyed team orders at Toro Rosso.

            But Gasly… he was really keen on asking Hartley to get out of the way on every occasion he could. He never moved over for Hartley though.. even though Hartley was quicker, on different tyres and strategy.

  5. Unfortunately, (and surprisingly) none of these radio messages were broadcasted during the race.

    1. @jerejj race had action, also it was not Ferrari, these comms are common but we only hear them if they add something to the plot of these plotted races.

  6. The key here is that it was delt with pretty swiftly, in contract to Ferrari’s messing around in Barcelona.

  7. RocketTankski
    15th July 2019, 14:05

    Horner used Glare. It was super effective.

  8. Boy Wonder needed team orders to get past Gasly on a track with so many overtaking opportunities?

    1. @gnosticbrian He didn’t need it necessarily. He would have been past anyways, this just brought forward the inevitable.

      1. Ver asked for it and was given it. If he didn’t need it, why ask?

        1. Fighting for position costs valuable time. You do not spoil seconds for your teammate and yourself.

  9. Worked out well for Gasley – he got the spot back by letting VES through – I bet he was thinking SEB is going to crack under pressure :)

  10. I felt it was not needed they were both going to the end, and neither is fighting for the championship. Let them race.

    1. Yeah, no. Gasly is not in the position to demand anything. With Verstappen they had a shot at P2, perhaps even more, with Gasly P4. Simple as that. You only let them race when they are equal to eachother. Gasly has proven to be slower.

      1. Valid point

      2. @montalvo

        P2, maybe. More then P2, not without extraordinary circumstances

  11. I still wonder what Team VER decided to pit GAS so early, whereas his lap times were good and he just passed VET, catching up VER. That’s really making me think.

  12. Carlos Sains
    15th July 2019, 19:13

    Gasly can’t stand on his own feet. Is order to use Max setup. Not getting the job done yourself is one thing. Ignoring a team order be will garanteed the fastest way to get fired.

  13. F1oSaurus (@)
    15th July 2019, 19:20

    So all these messages arrived within a few corners?

  14. Lol its because not even red bull trust max to be able to make a clean pass despite gaslys car being half a sec slower

    1. @carlosmedrano

      Did you just lick this comment and send it ?

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