Pierre Gasly left the Bahrain Grand Prix with a bitter taste in his mouth. The Frenchman did a brilliant job of qualifying in P5 on Saturday and looked set for a good haul of points on Sunday. However, these expectations went up in flames when Gasly had a minor crash with Daniel Ricciardo that caused front wing damage to his car and effectively put the Frenchman out of the race.
Gasly was disappointed with how events had panned out as the potential for a strong result slipped from AlphaTauri's hands.
“Very disappointed right now because we had a very strong weekend since we arrived, and starting on P5 I was hoping for some good points. And then it was pretty much over after the contact with Daniel."
Speaking about the incident, Pierre Gasly said:
“I don’t really know exactly what happened, I need to review the footage to know whether I braked too late or exactly what happened, but the race was pretty much over, I broke the front wing, I had floor damage, and was a minute behind so really disappointed.”
Pierre Gasly was just unlucky: Franz Tost
AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost was sympathetic towards his driver and felt that there were positives that could be taken away from the Bahrain Grand Prix. Pierre Gasly showed strong pace throughout the weekend, while his rookie teammate Yuki Tsunoda showed incredible poise and racecraft on his debut, finishing in P9.
Franz Tost said:
“From then [the incident] onwards, Pierre Gasly's race was compromised as he also had damage to the floor, which meant quite a big loss of performance. Nevertheless, in his last stint, he showed some fantastic lap times and was really one of the fastest out there."
Eventually, Pierre Gasly had to retire from the race, after facing issues on his AlphaTauri. Explaining the cause of the retirement, Franz Tost said:
“Unfortunately, we had to retire him towards the end of the race for a suspected gearbox issue that we need to investigate further. In the end, he couldn’t score any points, but he did a fantastic job in qualifying and he showed the race pace was there – he was just unlucky.”
In a bunched-up midfield, AlphaTauri cannot afford to miss out on points, but early impressions show that they have the car needed to compete at the front of the midfield. With two talented drivers in Yuki Tsunoda and Pierre Gasly, the team looks set to make a big splash in the 2021 Formula 1 season.