Toro Rosso driver Pierre Gasly says he was left “disgusted” by his opening lap collision with Lance Stroll in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
A hit from Stroll’s Racing Point in the opening corner of the race turned Gasly’s Toro Rosso, whose left front impacted with the other Racing Point car of Sergio Perez as a result.
This damaged Gasly’s front wing and nosecone, and though he made it back to the pits, he was already marooned a lap down by the time the damaged parts could be replaced.
With Gasly not contending for points, McLaren’s Carlos Sainz overhauled him for sixth place in the drivers’ standings.
Speaking to French broadcaster Canal+ after the race, Gasly said: “I’m just disgusted with what happened, because we clearly had the potential to keep sixth place and that’s it. It’s annoying when this kind of thing happens.”
He also made it clear that he held Stroll responsible, saying: “With him [Stroll] behind, there’s a 50-50 chance that things will go wrong.
“It sucks, it really sucks because we had a good pace, we had a good car, we worked well all weekend and when we see where Sainz finishes and what Daniil [Kvyat, ninth place in the other Toro Rosso] does, there was clearly the potential to make a good result.”
Gasly reiterated his stance when in his subsequent media session in English, as he said that “from what I could see so far, Lance just ruined everything”.
“Last race of the season, just to ruin your race with the first-corner incident, it’s clearly annoying.
“It put us one lap down from the first lap, and the whole race basically praying for a safety car, looking at the standings.”
Gasly, whose second full season in F1 included a Red Bull demotion and a subsequent recovery of form at Toro Rosso that culminated in a maiden podium at Interlagos, said he was not in the right frame of mind to reflect on his campaign after the race.
“I think it’s not really the opportune moment because at the moment I’m upset for the race.
“I will have a couple of days to calm down and just think back at the whole season, because a lot of things happened, there are a lot of things to debrief, a lot of things to look at, and yeah, just to make sure we come back strong for next season.”
Additional reporting by Fabien Gaillard and Jonathan Noble
Sergio Perez, Racing Point RP19, Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso STR14 and Lance Stroll, Racing Point RP19 make contact at the start
Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images
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