Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri, Albert Park, 2020

Gasly stayed out of France for two months as a precaution after cancelled Australian GP

2020 F1 season

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Pierre Gasly has described how he did not return to France for two months following the cancelled Australian Grand Prix in case he had contracted Covid-19.

The AlphaTauri driver went to Dubai after the opening race of the 2020 F1 season was called off.

“We were in Australia for the first race of the year and suddenly everything stopped on Friday like an hour before the first practice of the season,” said Gasly in an interview for new sponsor Hawkers.

“The whole weekend got cancelled and then, after that, all the other races,” he added, “so the whole season was delayed, and therefore, my whole 2020 season is also delayed.

“After Australia I came back to Dubai, I was planning to stay there just before the Bahrain Grand Prix which got cancelled as well. So we decided to stay there just for two days to assess the situation in Europe.

“When I realised that the situation was bad, my coach and I decided to stay in Dubai, since it was safer and offered better conditions to train. I stayed in Dubai for about two months, which was a really tough period for everyone, having to stay inside in lockdown with not very much to do.”

Gasly used the time to work on his physical fitness. “In that sense, I was pretty lucky to be able to stay there and we managed to have a personal gym so I could train every single day for two months and really focus on the physical preparation, which was great.

“I improved a lot and for sure I am in my best shape ever. I’m really happy about it and we still have a couple more weeks of training before the season starts.”

He has since returned to France to spend time with his family. “After these two months, I felt more confident that I wasn’t sick and I wasn’t going to spread, just in case I would have been.

“I felt it safer now to come back and to see them and spend some more time with them. I don’t get to see them often during the season so now it’s a good opportunity to do so.”

Gasly said his spell in Dubai felt “more like a training camp”.

“We monitored my sleep, my recovery time, especially my resting heart rate and got to see the effect it had on my training,” he said. “My resting heart rate went below 40 beats per minute during the night [while] my usual frequency is around 46.

“Of course I would have liked to race, and I really missed racing a lot, but we try to make the best out of all the time we had available. I think we did it. Hopefully now we can get back to what I love the most, racing, and hopefully the championship can get started very soon.”

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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...

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10 comments on “Gasly stayed out of France for two months as a precaution after cancelled Australian GP”

  1. Better safe than sorry.

  2. Someone at some point should have at least told him the incubation time was two WEEKS, not two months.

    1. @aiii Which would not have helped considering what Pierre appears to have been waiting for is a reduction in the number of people who had the virus in France vs Dubai.

  3. So he stayed there through all of the high-30s and low to low-ish 40s ambient temps achieved through April and the first half of May. I thought he returned to Europe at some point in April, but not after all.

  4. So did he do the Virtual GP from there too ??

  5. I too was afraid, it was quite hard to get stranded from Europe’s winter for it’s whole duration.

  6. LusciousAzure
    17th June 2020, 13:40

    I’d love to be stuck in Dubai!

  7. This will leave him hungry as hell. And top fitness will surely translate to the track as well. Good on him, although it revealed a cautious mind, but this we already knew from his stint at Red Bull and lack of overtake attempts.

  8. Ouch!
    By the symptoms it looks like he has some very aggressive and contagious virus…

    I suggest he isolates for the next 2 years.

  9. So riddled in muscles now, from his Dubai iron workouts, he doesn’t fit into the car now.

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