Gasly “lost sixth gear” on formation lap in F1 Saudi Arabian GP as woes continue

Photo Credit: BWT Alpine F1 Team
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Alpine has had a rough go in the first two races of the season. They have failed to score a point with their race winning driver duo of Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon, and the Enstone-based squad hasn’t made it out of Q1 either. Multiple departures of key technical staff leave the team in a rather bad place at present.

The woes continued as the team got to Jeddah this past weekend. Both cars started near the back of the grid as the team failed to advance past Q1. One crumb of comfort for Alpine was the close gap between their drivers, a mere 0.004s saw Ocon ahead of Gasly. It suggests not much more is available in the package right now.

Then, things went from bad to worse as Pierre Gasly reported a gearbox failure on the formation lap and had to retire on lap 1 of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Gasly expressed disappointment and frustration as he explained his problem, as he just couldn’t go above sixth gear and was forced to retire:

“I lost sixth gear, then lost synchronization of all the other gears and at the start, I had no gears which were synchronised.

“The highest that I could go was fifth and so we had to retire, and I am disappointed for the team because we are going through a difficult time.

“The laps to the grid were fine, but on the formation lap, the first time I engaged sixth gear, I just lost it completely, so we need further investigation, but it just wasn’t our weekend.

“But I can see how much effort and energy everyone is putting in to make improvements and make things better.

“We don’t really get the reward of it at the moment, so it is not easy but we’ll keep our head high and keep working to find the performance.”

While Gasly’s optimism is admirable, it will take a lot of time and effort to fix a car that is overweight and lacking downforce.