Fernando Alonso, Alpine, Istanbul Park, 2021

Gasly says ‘I don’t know where else I could have gone’ after Alonso clash penalty

2021 Turkish Grand Prix

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Pierre Gasly says he had little opportunity to avoid the contact with Fernando Alonso which led to his penalty in the Turkish Grand Prix.

The AlphaTauri driver collided with Alonso on the exit of turn one, his AlphaTauri squeezed between the Alpine and Sergio Perez’s Red Bull.

“There was a contact,” Gasly said. “I haven’t really seen the footage. Obviously, for me it was tight with Sergio inside me and then Fernando was also on the outside. So obviously there wasn’t much space.”

Gasly did not criticise the stewards’ decision to give him a five-second penalty and two penalty points on his licence for the incident.

“There was contact and yeah, I did the penalty. I don’t know whether it was the right thing or not, I need to have a look at the footage first.”

He said he was aware of Alonso before they touched but was trying to avoid the car on his inside at the same time. “I also saw Sergio was there and tried to go where I could. We know it’s always usually not a good mix when we have that many cars.”

He called the stewards’ decision to award him a five-second time penalty and two penalty points “tricky.”

“I don’t have any other similar situation that comes in my mind,” he added, “but that’s just the way it is.”

“To be fair for me, I don’t really know where else I could have gone,” Gasly continued. “But it’s a tricky one. It’s turn one and obviously, it’s a high chance that something happens.

“I don’t want to be involved in any sort of crash that would ruin my race. So I just tried to stick with in between these two cars. But yeah, I didn’t have much space.”

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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...
Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a freelance journalist who roams the paddocks of Formula E, covering the technical and emotional elements of electric racing. Usually found at...

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13 comments on “Gasly says ‘I don’t know where else I could have gone’ after Alonso clash penalty”

  1. I felt this was very harsh, especially after seeing Gaslys on board. As he says, I’m not really sure what he could have done

    1. I can only assume they say that there was a bit more space on the inside, and he was understeering wide.
      But still very harsh – I think it should be a given that if there are three abreast in the first corner there is likely to be some contact.

  2. For me, it was a first lap racing incident. No penalty. That should be a straight forward call.

  3. Really don’t see how he got a penalty for that when Leclerc didn’t for taking him out on lap 1 in Austria. Arguably Leclerc’s was worse, Gasly in this instance had nowhere else to go.

    1. Yeah, I was quite surprised they gave a penalty for the first corner, and even more when it really did not look like he could have done much different to avoid the contact @rocketpanda, @blutto

  4. It was seemingly hard, but he wasn’t entirely sandwiched. He went wide on his own. Could have braked or stayed on a closer line, but didn’t. Not the first T1 messup from him

    1. He didn’t just “go wide”, he opened his steering because there was a Red Bull on the inside. Turn one, in the wet, spray in his mirrors, parent company’s car on the inside… I suppose you could have done better

      1. Why are you focused on how difficult it was to see behind when what he hit was right in front of him? It’s a poor argument. Same with saying he’s blameless because I might not have driven any better.

        1. because both cars came from behind him? derp

  5. Also think the penalty was harsh, and in any case I see it from the point of view of the damaged driver: how should this make alonso happy? His race was ruined anyway, hence I think it makes no sense to penalize such a racing incident on lap 1, in any case stewards considered gasly 100% to blame, that’s why they penalized him.

    1. in any case I see it from the point of view of the damaged driver: how should this make alonso happy?

      That’s got absolutely nothing to do with it. A penalty isn’t a compensation mechanism.
      It’s quite literally a penalty for breaching a rule – performing an illegal action – with no regard whatsoever for the consequences.

      I’m at a loss to see how they found Gasly 100% to blame when Perez was on the inside… But it’s okay – stewards are human, and therefore, imperfect. We all make mistakes sometimes, and this was one of theirs.

    2. I think the stewards want to be consistent as that has been the main complaint about them. About time too.

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