Pierre Gasly, Alpine, Yas Marina, 2023

Hamilton would have gone straight on if he hadn’t crashed into me – Gasly

Formula 1

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Pierre Gasly said the damage he suffered in a collision with Lewis Hamilton ruined his chances of scoring any points in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

“It wasn’t my day,” said the Alpine driver. “I think most of the damage was done when Lewis just came at the back of my car and just destroyed the whole diffuser at the back of it.”

The Alpine driver, who finished 13th, said he was caught unaware when the Mercedes ran into him at turn six.

“I braked late,” Gasly explained. “I was surprised that he went even – I think he would have gone straight if I wasn’t there.

“I started to have a bit of front graining, I locked up a bit but still made the corner. And I think he just missed the braking point and then basically ran at the back of my car.

“It was quite an impact. It was enough to just break and lose some part of the diffuser. So not great.”

“After that I was losing a lot of points of downforce,” he added.

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While the damage compromised his performance over the rest of the race, Gasly was also frustrated by the team’s decision to pit his team mate before he did, allowing Esteban Ocon to get ahead.

“Obviously I wasn’t happy with the strategy call,” said Gasly. “This will be reviewed and we made a mistake and I’m sure we’ll learn from it.

“But then with all the downforce I was losing, I’m talking four tenths a lap for 40 laps, maybe there was a P10 to fight for with Stroll. But I don’t think there was much more than that today. So not the easiest race to finish.”

The stewards decided not to penalise Hamilton for the collision, ruling that he likely did not expect Gasly to defend his position the way he did.

“Car 10 [Gasly] locked its front right tyre into turn six resulting in that car approaching the turn
on a slightly different line at a slightly lower speed which was obviously unexpected by the driver of car 44 [Hamilton],” they ruled. “Car 44 made light contact with the rear of car 10 in the turn. The stewards determine that no driver was wholly or predominantly to blame.”

However Gasly felt the outcome was “harsh” for him. “On one side, it makes me lose 15, 20 seconds of race time. Nothing of my control. So on one side, it’s harsh.

“On the other side he made a mistake and came in the back of my car. So it’s a tough one to say, but for sure it clearly cost me quite a lot today.”

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2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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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...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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14 comments on “Hamilton would have gone straight on if he hadn’t crashed into me – Gasly”

  1. lol, Pierre lost the back end, went sideways a bit and wasn’t back on the throttle when he would’ve been normally

  2. I started to have a bit of front graining, I locked up a bit but still made the corner. And I think he just missed the braking point and then basically ran at the back of my car.

    Uhm no. Hamilton was going to make the corner while you were clearly not, and with front graining, you should have already been wary about braking later than your normal braking point.

    1. Gasly and Ocon are two of a kind. Constantly blaming others for their own mistakes.

  3. No lock up, no contact. GAS should watch the video :)

    1. Mark, there wasn’t a lot of contact, but enough to bend the front wing endplate on Hamilton’s car. Don’t know if anything was famaged on Gasly’s. I agree with the above posters though, that Gasly brought this on himself.

  4. The only person who ruined Gaslys race was Alpines strategist.

  5. Maybe today wasn’t Lewis’ fault, but there is a pattern throughout his career of trading paint with others.

    Lewis has made contact with others more than a few times this season and most of them were avoidable on his part – desperate moves when they weren’t necessary.

    Once in a while he takes himself out – such as when he crashed into Alonso at Spa last year and Russell this year.
    But it seems most of the time the other driver is affected (Piastri twice this year). And his past (VER at Silverstone and ALB when with RBR) were not sporting. Not to say Max isn’t overly aggressive in his own right.

    Button once made the comment Lewis is a bull in a china shop when he’s coming from behind. Alonso said he only knows how to race when he’s in the lead – maybe there is some truth to that.

    There is a nothing wrong with being aggressive as long as it’s under control and fair (PER and ALO at Brazil). But when it leads to crashes and happens repeatedly, the scale of a driver’s greatness should be taken into account.

    1. Like the Nico Rosberg comment in 2016 “always makes it look like an accident”

      This trademark “accidental” understeering into somebody, ruining their race while sustaining no damage, was honed and polished to perfection, but in senescence is getting progressively clumsier about it

      1. True, I even suspect the Mercedes wings are stronger than with other teams… With everyone they just desintegratie on contact. Mercedes has a sort of battering ram up front. And Lewis doesnthe same move often.. understeering into someone or “trying to back out of it” while surgically hitting the back tyre.
        It’s a skill but it’s nasty.

      2. melanos, even for a notorious troll like you, trying to imply that Hamilton is now going senile is an especially low level for you.

    2. Only when Lewis does it it’s a problem apparently………I wonder why.

  6. Apparently, he already got some damage from contact with Checo, meaning Lewis merely worsened his situation.

  7. I hear from people who met Lewis that he is a nice person. I didn’t like the way he tried to bring politics in sport, for him there are other way’s. I also think his day’s as WDC challenger are over.

  8. Interesting to hear Gasly’s take. From the video, he clearly made a late braking move and lost control of his car meanwhile Lewis’ braking seemed perfectly in control and on the limit as one would expect from him.
    This kind of contact makes me remember Heiki Kovalenin comment about Lewis where he said that Lewis was able to brake so much later than himself and still carry more speed into the corner.
    It does appear that Gasly inadvertently agrees with that comment .

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