Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri, Red Bull Ring, 2021

Gasly “surprised” Leclerc wasn’t investigated over collision which ended his race

2021 Austrian Grand Prix

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Pierre Gasly intends to speak to Formula 1 race director Michael Masi about why there was no investigation into his race-ending collision with Charles Leclerc.

The AlphaTauri driver retired at the end of the first lap in last week’s Styrian Grand Prix after picking up a puncture when Leclerc touched his left-rear tyre. Leclerc suffered front wing damage and had to pit, but went on to finish seventh.

“I must say I was a bit surprised at the time that there was no further investigation,” said Gasly.

He pointed out Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas was given a three-place grid penalty earlier in the weekend for an incident which occured during practice and did not affect any of their rivals.

“Obviously it wasn’t done on purpose, it’s not something Charles deliberately did, but for sure it had quite a big consequence on my race.

“Especially after seeing Valtteri getting three grid [place] penalties for losing control of his car in the pit lane, but not really affecting anyone else’s race, this which obviously had an impact on my race, I must say I was a bit surprised.”

Gasly acknowledged that no penalty for Leclerc during last week’s race would have benefited him.

“At the end of the day I just care about my own race and it would have not changed anything on that side. But just something we’re probably going to talk with Michael.”

“The clear thing is it would not have changed my race,” he added. “I think the damage was already done. In the end it doesn’t really matter to me.”

Following the contact on lap one, Gasly slowed with his puncture and was involved in further collisions with Antonio Giovinazzi and Nicholas Latifi at turn three. Masi said last week all the incidents were examined together and considered not worth investigating.

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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...

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10 comments on “Gasly “surprised” Leclerc wasn’t investigated over collision which ended his race”

  1. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    1st July 2021, 13:44

    Yeah I agree with him. Leclerc obviously didn’t mean to hit him but that collision deleted Gasly from the race while he went on to have a decent finish. Given Ferrari & Leclerc and AlphaTauri & Gasly are running similar pace in the championship those lost points may have a big consequence, not least that people have been investigated and given a penalty for less in the past.

    1. @rocketpanda Opening laps when everyone’s close to each other are usually treated differently from the other laps. This + the situation itself being 50/50 played a part.

      1. Sorry but you must be a blind ferrari fan to say it was a 50/50.
        This feels more like some other misjudgements leclerc has made.
        And he really should be punished for it or he keeps doing it.

        1. someone or something
          1st July 2021, 16:37

          Sorry but you must be a blind ferrari fan to say it was a 50/50.

          Careful with such assumptions, they’re usually far off.
          In his case, it’s just stubbornness and a good dose of solipsism. He’s not ever going to back-pedal on this, no matter how many times you present him with facts that prove him wrong.
          Not to mention ‘arguments’ of the “So you think X, therefore you must be Y” kind.

  2. Simply because the incident was 50/50 without either wholly or predominantly at fault, even if people don’t want to accept this – equally Gasly should’ve realized by now.
    The Bottas comparison is pointless as the situations are incomparable. One happened on the track, the other in pit lane.

    1. It wasn’t 50/50 though as we’ve pointed out, Gasly was NOT at fault.

  3. The FIA have history on treating lap 1 incidents differently to those occurring later in the race, they tend to be pretty lenient on lap 1 and let a lot slide. Had the same incident occurred on lap 10 Leclerc probably would have gotten a penalty.

    I suspect the follow up article to this will say as much.

    1. @geemac It’s strange when you think the whole penalty points system kicked off as a result of mostly first lap incidents for one driver leading up to a race ban, and the desire to have a system that would consistently penalise frequent offenders so they wouldn’t have to rely on a one-off judgement call on what was ‘dangerous driving’. Leclerc seems to get involved in a lot of lap one incidents but since those are mostly no longer investigated he gets away with a lot.

      Honestly I think they are giving too much leniency on first laps now. On the run to the first corner then fair enough but after they’ve exited the corner in most cases they should be able to judge where other cars are on track the same as every other lap. We don’t want penalties for every 50/50 bit of contact but when one driver is clearly at fault and ruins another driver’s race then it should at least be investigated.

    2. The FIA have a history of being inconsistent with first lap incidents, even first corner incidents.
      Better still the FIA has a history of being inconsistent with almost everything.

  4. someone or something
    1st July 2021, 16:10

    Same, Pierre, same.
    It seemed like a no-brainer to me that there’d be a small penalty (my money would’ve been on 5 seconds) for a somewhat minor incident for which Leclerc was at least predominantly, or maybe even wholly, to blame. Would there have been one if Leclerc hadn’t needed to pit, thus settling his karmic account? Who knows.

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