Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly revealed the safety car re-start battle with McLaren’s Fernando Alonso which sealed his fate in the Italian GP at Monza.
The Frenchman surprised with a ninth place start after a solid qualifying on Saturday, but he lost the place to Williams’ Sergey Sirotkin and Alonso in the opening lap to be running 11th when the safety car was deployed.
On re-start, Gasly and Alonso came together in Turn 1 with the Frenchman trying a move on the outside in the right-hander where they made contact with Gasly having to fly over the sausage kerbs which damaged his floor right away.
After the hit, the Frenchman started to drop down the order to eventually finish 15th in the order – was promoted to 14th after the disqualification of Haas’ Romain Grosjean. “We were side by side into Turn 1,” he started. “I was on the outside.
“We both braked quite late and there was no space. I tried to stay on track but Fernando touched me on the right. I jumped over the kerb and damaged half my floor and after that the race was pretty much over.
“[Then] I had another collision with Daniel [Ricciardo] which compromised the rear. [In the end] I was sliding everywhere. I knew it would be difficult in normal conditions and [the damages] made it even more difficult.
“For sure, with no damage in the car, it would have been better. I am a bit disappointed after a good day [in qualifying]. Now we need to focus on Singapore.” His teammate Brendon Hartley retired on the opening lap itself.
The Kiwi was hit by Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson in the run-up to Turn 1 and his suspension broke immediately. With Racing Point Force India (32) scoring 14 points, they are already ahead of Toro Rosso (30) by two points.