Gasly worried engine problem could cost him Baku F1 podium finish

Pierre Gasly has revealed that he was battling an engine problem during Formula 1’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix that he feared could cost him a podium finish.

Gasly worried engine problem could cost him Baku F1 podium finish

The AlphaTauri driver had shown strong pace throughout the Baku weekend, initially running fourth, but faded somewhat in the race as the leaders pulled away from him.

He then made clear some frustrations over the team radio after Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel was able to draft past him on the straight midway through.

At that stage Gasly was battling an engine that was down on power, leaving him very exposed to rivals on the straight.

“It was very difficult for me mid-race onwards with an engine issue,” he said. “We were losing quite a lot of power down the straights and Seb managed to pass us in the middle of the race.”

He added: “It was clearly a pretty big difference with Yuki [Tsunoda], for example. So the guys told me a lot of engine switches to try to limit the damage.

“I was very strong in the second sector but the straight was very hard. When Seb passed me, I could literally not do anything there.”

Before the red flag restart, where Gasly was running fourth, he feared that the problem would allow other cars to get past him – meaning he had to fight aggressively with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri AT02, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF21, and Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin AMR21

Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri AT02, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF21, and Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin AMR21

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

“I knew in those last two laps, whatever I will do, I knew that Charles behind will pass me on the straight,” he said. “And that's what happened.

“So I just got back in the tow and went for it in turn one. He came back at me in turn three and I had to brake very late.

“Then I really pushed the brakes to the limit with Seb. I thought I was going to end in the wall there. I managed to stop it somehow, I don't know how, but it was late braking.

“And with Charles, it was the same. I really wanted that podium. I took some big risks, but it was clearly worth it.”

After a difficult start to 2021, where Gasly has been unable to deliver strong results on the back of impressive pace from his car, he could not hide his delight at the top three finish.

“It was such an insane race and, you know, super intense last two laps,” he said. “The car has been incredible all weekend and you know we saw every session we were there.

“Qualifying was mega but I didn't know if we could keep up that position or fight for even a podium. In the end we did it. I have had one first and one second now, and I was missing that third place, so it feels incredible to get that podium.”

shares
comments

Related video

Hamilton explains 'magic button' incident that led to Baku F1 restart off

Previous article

Hamilton explains 'magic button' incident that led to Baku F1 restart off

Next article

Leclerc lost Azerbaijan GP lead to Hamilton after avoiding tree branch

Leclerc lost Azerbaijan GP lead to Hamilton after avoiding tree branch
Load comments
Why Alfa's boss is ready for the task of securing a stronger F1 future Plus

Why Alfa's boss is ready for the task of securing a stronger F1 future

Two tenth places in recent races have lifted Alfa Romeo to the head of Formula 1's 'Class C' battle in 2021, but longer-term the Swiss-based squad has far loftier ambitions. With the new 2022 rules set to level out the playing field, team boss Frederic Vasseur has good reason to be optimistic, as he explained to Autosport in an exclusive interview

How Barnard’s revolutionary McLaren transformed F1 car construction Plus

How Barnard’s revolutionary McLaren transformed F1 car construction

The MP4/1 was pioneering by choice, but a McLaren by chance. STUART CODLING relates the tangled (carbonfibre) weaves which led to the creation of one of motor racing’s defining cars

Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool Plus

Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool

Windtunnel work forms the bedrock of aerodynamic development in Formula 1. But as PAT SYMONDS explains, advances in virtual research are signalling the end of these expensive and complicated relics

Formula 1
Jun 13, 2021
Why polarising Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour Plus

Why polarising Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour

The newspapers, naturally, lingered over Max Mosley’s tainted family history and niche sexual practices. But this is to trivialise the legacy of a big beast of motor racing politics. STUART CODLING weighs the life of a man whose work for safety on both road and track has saved hundreds of thousands of lives, but whose penchant for cruelty remains problematic and polarising

Formula 1
Jun 12, 2021
Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture Plus

Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture

Sergio Perez has spent most of his career labouring in Formula 1’s midfield, wondering whether he’d ever get another shot at the big time. Red Bull has handed him that chance and, although life at the top is tough, the Baku winner is doing all the right things to get on terms with Max Verstappen, says BEN ANDERSON

Formula 1
Jun 11, 2021
What the data tells us about the F1 2021 title fight Plus

What the data tells us about the F1 2021 title fight

Formula 1 has been tracking car performance using timing loops mounted every 200m around each circuit – to the extent that it was able to anticipate Ferrari’s 'surprise’ pole in Monaco. PAT SYMONDS explains what this means for this season and beyond

Formula 1
Jun 10, 2021
The weighty issue F1 needs to find a balance with Plus

The weighty issue F1 needs to find a balance with

OPINION: After consecutive street races with contrasting highlights, one theme stood out which has become a prevalent issue with modern Formula 1 cars. But is there a way to solve it or, at least, reach a happy middle ground to help all parties?

Formula 1
Jun 10, 2021
The changes behind a ‘feel-good’ F1 result in Baku Plus

The changes behind a ‘feel-good’ F1 result in Baku

OPINION: The Azerbaijan Grand Prix had elements that make Formula 1 really exciting – unpredictability and shock results. This resulted in heartbreak for several of the championship’s regular contenders and joy for others who rarely reach the ultimate limelight. And one of those on the Baku podium is riding a wave of form he’s keen to continue

Formula 1
Jun 9, 2021