Pierre Gasly, Alpine, Circuit de Catalunya, 2023

Gasly and Alpine held 90-minute meeting over errors which led to double penalty

2023 Canadian Grand Prix

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Pierre Gasly had a lengthy meeting with his Alpine team to address the miscommunication which led to his double penalty in Spain.

Gasly qualified a season-best fourth on the grid in Barcelona but was hit with two separate three-place grid penalties for blocking rivals in qualifying. The Alpine driver, who joined the team from AlphaTauri at the start of the year, started 10th on the grid, where he also finished.

Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer said his team had held a meeting to address the causes of the penalties and ensure that they would not happen again.

“We met in between Spain and here with Pierre and his engineering team,” Szafnauer explained. “We met for about an hour-and-a-half to discuss communication strategy, how we communicate with him, the information that he needs, the timing of the information that he gets [and] what he does with that information, just so we can get a little bit better.

“Because it was unfortunate. Had he actually started fourth and ran fourth instead of starting where he did and then being pushed wide and ended up 14th after lap one, it’s significantly different running 14th [to] running fourth.

“We have to make sure that when we qualify that high we can actually race there, and we will do some things differently especially on Pierre’s side.”

Szafnauer indicated part of the problem may be due to Gasly’s unfamiliarity with their operation comparted to Esteban Ocon, who is in his fifth season driving for them. “Esteban is more used to his engineering team because he’s been with us for a lot longer.”

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Gasly, who is 10th in the drivers’ championship on 15 points, said he and his team had paid a “pretty big price” for what amounted to small errors in communication in Spain.

“I think it had a very bad impact, obviously, on our weekend,” he said. “From qualifying, for us to start P10 and drop to P14 on lap one, it was definitely a pretty terrible start.

“There are always things we can do better. There were small mistakes, which were done in quali, which we reviewed and will improve in terms of procedure and communication.

“It was a harsh penalty. Unfortunately, there is a regulation, which is applied most of the time and then we paid a pretty big price.”

Gasly suffered a loss of drive on his first lap out of the garage in opening practice for the Canadian Grand Prix on Friday. However, the session was suspended by a red flag and did not resume due to a CCTV fault around the circuit, which prevented Gasly from losing running time relative to his rivals.

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2023 Canadian Grand Prix

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Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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3 comments on “Gasly and Alpine held 90-minute meeting over errors which led to double penalty”

  1. I really don’t see how this meeting could’ve taken any longer than a minute. “Okay guys, if car is coming up behind Pierre tell him to get out of the way” “Okay”.

    1. Almost all teams seem to suffer from a lack of sense when it comes to communicating with their drivers over traffic. It’s almost as if they can’t spare someone to JUST monitor the live track map and warn drivers. For how much money and embarrassment these penalties can result in, there’s zero excuse to not have someone dedicated to that. It’s not like you’d even need an engineer to do. Any longtime fan with common sense could do that job.

      Anyway, whoever’s fault Spain was, Gasly is the type of driver who is incapable of learning from his own mistakes. He’s already as polished as he’ll ever be.

  2. How long of a meeting did you have when you drove your team mate into the wall in Australia?

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