Pierre Gasly scored in F1 Monaco GP but was hugely disappointed with Lap 1 crash against Esteban Ocon, who played it down as a mistake.

While there was a point against their name at the end of F1 Monaco GP, but there was a scare already for Alpine after the Lap 1 tangle between Gasly and Ocon in the lead-up to the tunnel which nearly ended both their races if not for the red flag.

The grand prix was over for Ocon at least after he tried an opportunistic move taking the inside line when their wheels made contact and the Frenchman went airbourne before coming down hard which damaged the gearbox and also the suspension.

The car couldn’t repaired as he was handed a 10s time penalty which was converted to a 5-place grid drop for the Canadian GP. Gasly, meanwhile, managed to continue but had a puncture which they could change under the red flag as their strategy was compromised.

Pre-race, they had an arrangement of the lead car getting preference where the car following will aide via strategy, but Ocon seemingly tried to break it on Lap 1 itself. Gasly felt it was totally unnecessary where the team was put in jeopardy.

Ocon, meanwhile, did take the blame but the damage was already done. “Today’s incident was my fault, the gap was too small in the end and I apologise to the team on this one. Hoping for a deserved points-finish for the team today,” he wrote.

Crash –

Gasly: “I was quite shocked. It was very unnecessary. For the team, I was just… you should never have such a situation, especially between teammates. Just sad. Disappointed with the situation. Especially, we had clear instructions before the race on what to do, and whoever qualified ahead, the trailing car was supposed to help throughout the race. That was the strategy. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen. We definitely need to speak because we can’t afford it – especially in the season like that. A point or two might be crucial at the end of the year, and we’ve just got to make sure that doesn’t happen again. At that time, we’re P9 and P10, so there’s absolutely no reason to risk to get both cars out. You can’t rewrite the story, so you’ll never know if things could have been differently. For sure, we were in a strong position as a team, especially with the two cars ahead of us.

“I feel generally that I had the pace to try something and we could be quite smart. So we had different scenarios planned in terms of strategy. Unfortunately, we could not work it that way. We’ll never know. At the end of the day, I think we did the best, because after that, from the incident, I got a puncture on my hard tyre, we started on the medium tyres – I had to do 75 or 76 laps on mediums, it wasn’t planned. It was just a very strange race with very slow pace at the start, but to keep in mind the long game and making sure that the two Aston Martins behind me – with Alonso opening a free pitstop for Stroll, I had to keep some tyres alive for the second part of the race so that Stroll wouldn’t catch me back. There was quite a lot going on. I’m just happy for the team we managed to get to the end and grab that point.”

Pre-race talks –

Gasly: “Honestly, it was said in the strategy that whoever qualifies ahead then will get the priority on the strategy and the guy behind will then play a bit more of a support role. Obviously, absolutely no risk on a track like that, and really try to benefit from having the two cars in such a position. We know what’s happened, and I think what’s most important for me is just to make sure it doesn’t happen in the future. We came close already a couple of times, too many times, we discussed about it and we just need to be clear.”

Blame, penalty –

Gasly: “On that side, yes. On the other side, still… Seeing a car that is damaged, that didn’t finish and potentially could be in the points… we came a couple of centimetres from having both cars in the wall. In the end, we got away with it. I’m just pleased that we saw the finish line on my side and we managed to get that point. But we don’t want to see that. At the end of the day, we’ve got 1,200 people working behind us. They’re working their ass off to give us the best car possible, and they are watching the race on Sunday and they should not see such a situation. We’ll discuss it and we’ll do better.”

Spoken to Bruno Famin, talks ahead –

Gasly: “No, no. When I came back, there was so much going on between trying to repair my car, trying to figure out the puncture, what strategy we’ll then do, trying to repair Esteban’s car. There was a lot going on. But I’m sure we’ll find the time. Regarding contract, I don’t want to answer that. Esteban is a professional driver. You just know what do to and what not to do – even more with your teammate. He’s a very good driver, he knows what he does, so he just needs to make a change.”

Crash –

Ocon: I didn’t really review. So. You have to take care. But at the same time we are doing 120% to be trying to get inside the top 10. For me, for Pierre – we saw it in qualifying, you know, we push the limit a lot in qualifying. Mistakes happen. That’s it. It’s very hard to overtake. There’s nothing new about this. And, yeah [you try]…”

Damage, repair –

Ocon: “Just it’s an unfortunate incident. Obviously not good to be retiring the car after… a long race after that. We basically try. We put the car back in the garage to try and repair. Unfortunately, there was too much damage sustained. And we were not able to go back again. So, a chaotic first lap. If the damage wasn’t, as bad as it was. Unfortunately, the gearbox was the biggest damage along with suspension arms. We would have been able to come back in and be in P11.”

Back hurt, review –

Ocon: “The back is Okay. Thank you. We’ll see when I get cold, I had double in Budapest. I felt it for weeks. I think that one will be better. I think the difference here is that the suspension broke. So I probably gave me some elasticity on the landing. We usually do. We review everything for sure, we’re always trying to do better for the next one.”

Here’s the crash: https://www.formula1.com/en/video/2024-monaco-grand-prix-gasly-furious-after-ocon-sent-airborne-in-clash-between-the-two-alpines.1800125719140773257

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