Gasly’s race ruined by “worst possible timing in terms of red flags”

Formula 1

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Pierre Gasly said the timing of the red flag during the Mexican Grand Prix couldn’t have been worse for his race.

The Alpine driver ran ninth in the opening stages and briefly moved up to eighth after Nico Hulkenberg ahead of him pitted. But soon after making his own pit stop, Kevin Magnussen crashed and caused a red flag, during which several of Gasly’s rivals were able to make their mandatory tyre changes.

“It was just the worst possible timing in terms of red flags,” Gasly rued afterwards. “We boxed, I feel like we did a decent first stint, just got blocked behind Nico and just couldn’t get past in the straight. We just didn’t have the straight-line speed, but then we were still pulling away from the guys behind.”

Gasly had four seconds in hand over Alexander Albon when he pitted. He emerged behind Yuki Tsunoda, but with much fresher tyres than the AlphaTauri driver.

“We boxed at quite a good gap with Alex behind and just past Esteban [Ocon] who didn’t pit. And obviously the red flag came so these guys got a free pit stop. Yuki, Alex and Esteban just gained 20 seconds.

“So it wasn’t ideal. As much as frustrating it can be, there’s nothing you can do. So no real regret, it just didn’t really play in our favour.”

Following the standing restart Gasly encountered another problem which prevented him from making any further progress.

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“I had a great start most times. But every time I shifted up to fourth and fifth I had a massive downgrade in terms of upshift, which most times cost me some positions. I think both times I was on the edge of passing Nico, and in the end got back behind him and just spent the whole time in traffic.

“So there was few things which could have been better. But I think in the end, I said to the team that I would have probably finished ninth, Esteban finished tenth. So we lose only a point.

“But it’s just a bit frustrating when you put in a lot of work and red flag comes. I mean, I’ve benefited from it in the past. Today was just not our day.”

Esteban Ocon finished 3.3 seconds ahead of his Alpine team mate in tenth place. Despite his frustrations, Gasly saw positives from another weekend when the team was in the hunt for points.

“I think we’re getting in a place where I know at the end of the weekend we kind of optimise. We’ve got issues, we’ve got clear weaknesses that we know we can’t fix at the track. It’s bigger changes that we need.

“But in terms of like the way we operate and maximising what we’ve got, I think it’s quite well managed though. Definitely the best momentum.”

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2023 Mexican Grand Prix

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Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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5 comments on “Gasly’s race ruined by “worst possible timing in terms of red flags””

  1. You win some (the 2020 Italian GP), you lose some.

  2. If anyone should really complain about the Red Flag, it should be Ferrari. They had managed tyres well enough to execute a one stop race, and just two laps after Charles pitted for hards, they threw in a red flag which gave Max an extra free stop.

    Max could have still won the race on a two stop without the red flag, but it would have been much closer than it ended up being.

    1. Max already had a free stop. He was 20s ahead of Leclerc when the Red Flag came out…

    2. @todfod Verstappen and Norris boxed under the safety car, then the next lap, the race was red flagged. So Verstappen had already pitted

      1. I should have mentioned that the safety car plus red flag was just unlucky timing.

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