French Grand Prix – Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly was one of the first lap retirements at Paul Ricard.
Starting his home Grand Prix from P14, Gasly only made it to Turn 3 of the race, due to a collision with compatriot, Force India’s Esteban Ocon.
Gasly appeared to be caught out by Ocon moving more slowly than he expected as they reached the apex and, heavy with fuel, lost control of his Toro Rosso under braking. This resulted in him sliding sideways into the Force India and knocking them both out of the race. The collision was investigated by the stewards, with both drivers being given reprimands by race officials. Gasly was given his reprimand for “being overly optimistic in his late braking into the corner” but that “both drivers made errors which contributed to the collision”.
“I’m very disappointed, it was tough to finish the race after just three corners.” said Gasly after returning to the garage. “In Turn 3 I went on the inside and I thought Esteban had seen me, when I saw he closed the door I couldn’t avoid the collision. It’s a shame to have this incident – especially at the French GP with two French drivers. It’s very difficult to take, I really wanted to do well this weekend and it’s definitely not wanted from my home race. Really disgusted…”
Ocon had suffered damage prior to the race-ending collision with Gasly, due to making contact with Romain Grosjean off the grid. He explained the first lap carnage from his perspective: “I made a good start and got alongside Romain [Grosjean] down the pit straight before he made contact with me. I was on the edge of the track but he moved over and hit me, which caused a lot of damage to the side of my car and the floor. After that, Pierre [Gasly] lost it under braking in turn three and hit me from behind, which ended my race completely.”
Gasly’s attention now turns to the Austrian Grand Prix, a home race for his Red Bull owned Toro Rosso team, with the race on Sunday taking place at the Red Bull Ring.