Gasly “very disappointed” after his Australian GP ends in heartbreaking fashion

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Photo: BWT Alpine F1 Team

After a somewhat shaky start to the 2023 season, it looked like today we were seeing the pace from the A523 the team had been confident was there. The pink liveried car (the last time we will see the A523 in its full pink guise this year) was looking rather racey in the hands of both French drivers this Sunday. Pierre Gasly in particular was having a great race, capitalising on events around him to move up from his starting position of P9 to reach a high of P4 at one point before running in a solid P5 and putting repeated pressure on Sainz ahead of him prior to the safety car being brought out by Magnussen stopping at Turn 4 after making contact with the wall and losing his right rear tyre. After the third restart of the day following the red flag that succeeded the Magnussens incident, it looked like Gasly and the team were on for some valuable and well earned points.

However that disappeared in a shower of dust and shattered carbon fibre as amongst the chaos of the battling grid.

The 27-year-old locked his front right tyre going into Turn 1 trying to go wheel to wheel with the Ferrari of Carlos Sainz and had to go off track into the grass to his left and rejoined just ahead of teammate Ocon, while watching Alonso spin off just ahead following contact from Sainz.

As Gasly drifts back to the right on the circuit, fast approaching Ocon’s front left wheel connects with Gasly’s rear right and both A523s smash into the barrier, out of the race and out of the points, triggering another red flag. A despondent Gasly, classified P13 with a DNF had this to say after the race:

“I’m very disappointed in the outcome of today’s race. We were in fifth place for most of it, chasing Carlos for fourth place and we showed really good race pace. For us to be so close to scoring ten points and leaving without any is a bitter one for us to take. Right now, we must focus on the positives and that is how we managed our race and how we were able to take the fight to our rivals ahead. I’m glad both Esteban and I are OK after the incident. As a team, we’ll move on and keep focused for the next race.”

Photo: BWT Alpine F1 Team

Although he is gutted, the French driver will be sure to take solace from the straight line speed shown by the A523 today and how he was “racing with the Ferrari, had Alonso in my sights for the majority of the race” which should prove itself useful in Baku at the end of the month.

“I felt comfortable with the car which is good going forward,” the Frenchman added.

Alpine boss Otmar Szafnauer also chose to focus on this point rather than the coming together of his pair of drivers:“We showed we can race with our close rivals ahead and, indeed, close cars down and be clinical when it counts. Pierre drove very well today, running much of the race in fifth place and in the fight for a podium alongside the Mercedes, Aston Martin and Ferrari. We must take the positives of this and use it as motivation going forwards…….We’ll keep moving forwards and these hard moments are what brings the team closer together. We’re already looking forward to Baku where an upgrade is planned.”