Gasly went for a gap in Lap 1 clash, Sainz on spin; Horner clears pre-race issue
The Lap 1 saw two separate incidents involving six cars as Christian Horner said Max Verstappen's pre-race issue was different.
Pierre Gasly says he saw a gap in his Lap 1 clash which led to a big incident in F1 Tuscan GP as Carlos Sainz was spun around too, while Christian Horner talks about pre-race issue.
Having had the high in F1 Italian GP, AlphaTauri's Gasly had a day to forget in Tuscan GP at Mugello after crashing out on Lap 1, while taking along Red Bull's Max Verstappen. There was damage for Haas' Romain Grosjean and Alfa Romeo Racing's Kimi Raikkonen too.
Jostling for position at Turn 2, Gasly collided with Raikkonen on his left and Grosjean on his right, which ended his grand prix. The hit sent the Finn into the back of Verstappen, who as forced to retire - even though he would have had a retirement anyways.
The field actually slowed a bit due to a spin for McLaren's Sainz, who had a small tangle with Racing Point's Lance Stroll. That spin collected Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel as well, with the German's front wing broke after he couldn't avoid the Spaniard.
Both the incidents were termed as racing incident by the stewards as no one driver was solely responsible. In case of Sainz, who had another major crash upon re-start, rued the missed opportunity by the spin of a good initial launch.
"I was fighting a Racing Point," said Sainz. "I got a good start and was side-by-side with him, and we had some very, very, very light contact and all of a sudden I just lost the car. Up until then, it had been a good start.
"It was a day to take some risks, because we hadn't been very quick all weekend, so I was happy to take some risks at the start. Unfortunately, it didn't pay off. The main thing is that we're all OK now," he summed up as Vettel said he couldn't avoid him.
"The start was not the best, but then I had a good run into Turn 1 staying on the inside, out of trouble," said Vettel. "Then when I came round Turn 2, I saw that the McLaren had spun, but I couldn't avoid making contact.
"He wasn't sure where to go, he was swerving a bit and I had a contact. Luckily, with the Safety Car deployed we could change the wing and rejoin the field." Meanwhile, on the bigger incident, Gasly said he pushed because he saw a gap between the two.
"It’s a shame to finish the race just after the first corner," said Gasly. "It was quite messy coming into Turn 1 with so many cars side by side. I saw some space between Kimi and Romain in Turn 2, I ended up in the middle and had nowhere to go.
"We collided and that was pretty much it. I don’t think there is anyone to blame, but it’s a shame as I feel like we missed an opportunity for points. We showed good pace all weekend and, even if we didn’t have a great qualifying, I was confident we could recover.
"So far, we have managed the Sundays well and we didn't really have crashes like this but it's a shame." He was the one of two to retire with Verstappen unable to capitalise on an initial good launch due to power loss, within a second of the start.
“I am of course very disappointed as I know this could have been a really good race for us," said Verstappen. "I had a good launch at the start of the race and went around Lewis but then the car just didn’t accelerate so I lost a lot of speed and had no power.
"I then dropped back into the midfield and got hit from behind. When you drop into the middle of the pack in the first few corners like that it’s quite easy to get involved in a crash so I’m not disappointed about that, we shouldn’t have been in that position in the first place," he summed up, as Red Bull and Honda look at the issues.
The Dutchman had a scare pre-race as well but Christian Horner put it down to a rear light issue, which the FIA document confirmed as well of a change. "The issue on the grid was something different that was to do with the rear light, it was nothing to do with the actual power unit," stated the Red Bull F1 chief.
While Gasly and Verstappen retired, Raikkonen and Grosjean continued, where the former managed to score two points as well. "It was definitely not the smoothest of races," said the Finn. "My race started pretty badly, I am not sure what exactly happened at turn two but I was hit and suffered a lot of damage.
"Probably whoever hit me didn’t expect the pack to slow as much as we did, but in any case the crash took away part of my floor and my front wing. The damage made the handling of the car really bad and we struggled with the balance: we lost a lot of downforce but in the end we were still able to push at a decent pace."
It was interesting from Grosjean, who said that he almost shut his car down before he got going again to salvage something from the grand prix. The damage was too much, though, as he was losing nearly two seconds from it.
"It’s one of the strengths of Haas – we never give up," said Grosjean. "I had a big hit at turn two on the first lap. The car was switched off, I was ready to retire, then I saw I had two wheels on the grass so I restarted the engine to see if I could get out of the gravel. I was able to get going and the suspension was ok, so we thought – let’s keep going."
Not only the one who crashed but there were others too warned up ahead in the field.
[Image courtesy: AlphaTauri] [Note: This story was written on FormulaRapida.net]