Gasly was ‘absolutely gutted’ after being impeded by Sainz in Canada Qualifying

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Pierre Gasly certainly had some strong words to fling at Carlos Sainz after an incident during the F1 qualifiers in Montreal saw him denied a place among the top finishers.

Photo credit: Alpine F1 Team

He called out Sainz’s driving behaviour as “extremely dangerous and unnecessary”. The drama unfolded shortly before the final lap of Q1, when Gasly encountered Sainz on the track. As he was nearing the conclusion his fastest lap, Gasly found himself impeded by a slowly-moving Sainz who was about to start his own lap. This forced him to abandon his already promising lap, resulting in a lowly 17th position on the grid before penalties.

The Alpine driver said: “I just think it’s completely unacceptable to be driving in the way Carlos did, it’s just as simple as that.”

He further summarised the incident by adding: “Coming at 300kph [186mph], he’s sitting at 30 kph [19 mph] in the last chicane just focusing on his own lap… But you’re not alone on the racetrack. First of all, I could not even close my lap which would have put us in a top six quite easily. I’m sitting here in P17 when we have the car and the pace to be in the top 10, eight or even top six in these conditions. And second of all, it was extremely dangerous, and it was just unnecessary. So I’m just absolutely gutted.

“It was my best lap, the track was improving so much,” the Frenchman said after when he had the chance to look at his performance stats. “The lap before I was doing a cooldown, so I can’t remember but it was a second and a half or something like that. So looking at the data, I would have put us easily in P6.”

Photo credit: Alpine F1 Team

Pointing out the other impeding incidents from Monaco and Barcelona where he too received penalties for similar offences earlier this year, the Frenchman commented on how damaging such incidents can be in broader terms.

“It wasn’t such a problem in the past so maybe it’s something between drivers and communication but clearly there needs to be some review because we are moments away from having much worse outcomes since it has become dangerous.

“You could not put your car in a worse possible place. And at the speed I’m coming as well he’s just putting himself in a very dangerous position and also myself, it’s just unnecessary… At least I finish my lap and I can go through easily,” he added.

The former 2020 Monza winner highlighted the difference between the penalty he received before this season and Sainz’s by saying:“I was in the opposite situation the other day, but the guys finished P1 and P2 and it didn’t impact their Sunday. Now I’m sitting here in P17 and obviously, it ruined my qualifying and impacts my race a lot. So yeah, it’s just not acceptable.”

In contrast however, Carlos Sainz rebutted by claiming that he had been getting impeded himself by other cars. “I got impeded seven times today, and I’m not shouting on the radio at turn 13,” the Spaniard stated. While also stressing how compacted timings were leading up towards qualification deadline:“I was stopped, and I had to let other cars go, and I couldn’t get out of the way. I did my best to get out of the way, and I tried to go,” he added.

Photo credit: Scuderia Ferrari

Sainz further justified his action by saying “The flag was about to fall, and also, it was a bit of every man for himself. I had to go. If not, I would have missed my qualifying lap.”

Moreover he went onto add that “I was stopped, and I had to let other cars go, and I couldn’t get out of the way. I did my best to get out of the way, and I tried to go,” presumably still talking down stern words from Pierre Gasly.

One common ground that the Ferrari driver meet with Gasly was the need for a review on how things are operated.

“Some incidents are under investigation; others are not. It depends [on] how much you shout on the radio [and] how much you complain. So let’s see,” said the unimpressed 28-year-old.

Sainz, along with Hülkenberg, Tsunoda and Stroll, was ultimately handed a 3-place grid penalty for impeding the Alpine driver.