The Turkish Grand Prix began with a moment of shock: Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri) and Fernando Alonso (Alpine) touched in turn 1. The Frenchman afterwards: “Where should I go?”
Fernando Alonso in 5th place, that was the last time it happened seven years ago, in Suzuka 2014! But all hopes for a top result were destroyed after a few seconds: Collective outcry among the Alonso fans when Pierre Gasly and Fernando Alonso came into contact in the first corner shortly after the start of the Turkish Grand Prix. Result: Alonso spun to the right, Gasly received a five-second penalty from the race stewards and two penalty points on top of that.
AlphaTauri driver Gasly served the time penalty when changing tires. Without this penalty, the 2020 Monza GP winner would have had a good chance of leaving Lewis Hamilton behind and putting fourth-placed Charles Leclerc in trouble.
Gasly puts up for discussion: “Where should I go in this situation? Sergio Pérez is on the inside, Fernando Alonso is on the outside, I was just the meat in the bun. There was no more room for me. Of course I apologized to Fernando.”
Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button assesses this scene as follows: “There wasn’t much to be done for Gasly. His car understeered into Alonso’s car on the first corner. I think the penalty had a lot to do with the fact that Fernando’s race was de facto ruined.”
Pierre Gasly again: “I tried my best to avoid a collision, but I ran out of space. We all know that it is not easy when three cars are next to each other.”
“I can’t think of any other racing situation in which a penalty would have been imposed for something like this. I just don’t know what I should have done differently. You never voluntarily risk such a contact in the first corner, because your race can be over in a flash.”
After that, Gasly showed a strong race on the way to 6th place – his sixth place in the top six in 2021. Pierre thinks: “That was a good performance in difficult conditions. In the end, we were only ten seconds short of a podium, and that in a race without safety car phases. We were able to set a really brisk pace.”