Red Bull Racing’s Pierre Gasly revealed that he couldn’t spot the grid lights to start F1 Australian GP as he then brushed Williams’ Robert Kubica in Turn 1.
After the qualifying mistake from Red Bull on Saturday, Gasly was forced to start the Australian GP from 17th on the grid which made life difficult for the Frenchman – mainly because of the traffic he had to face to get up the order.
But post-race, Gasly revealed of an unusual problem he faced on the grid which lost him couple of places and then he touched Kubica going into Turn 1. The Frenchman reasoned that the bigger rear wings made it difficult for him to spot the grid lights.
Eventually, he got going well as he gained places but towards the end, he was stuck behind Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat, who was chasing Racing Point’s Lance Stroll. Neither managed to get past with Gasly finishing 11th on his debut race for Red Bull.
“It was a pretty difficult race,” said Gasly. “With the new bigger rear wings, I couldn’t see the lights on the grid so I had to react with the cars around me and I lost a couple of places. Then I got stuck in traffic and even with the DRS.
“It’s super difficult to overtake here plus I had some debris in my front wing which didn’t help. I spent the whole race five tenths from the car in front but my tyres were just sliding and I couldn’t get past. I pushed as much as I could and I tried everything.
“But it wasn’t enough to make it into the points. In general, the pace over the weekend was really good.” To add to his misery, teammate Max Verstappen did a solid job to score a third place finish and get Honda’s, their first podium in the V6 era.
The slower start for Gasly did not help Williams’ Kubica as going into Turn 1, Gasly’s right rear touched the front wing of the Polish driver which came off immediately and he ran over it subsequently – which forced an extra pit stop for the Williams driver.
Kubica then revealed that he lost his mirror on Lap 3 which made it difficult with blue flags. In the end, he finished three laps behind the winner Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas. “It definitely wasn’t an easy race and we knew that before the start,” he said.
“We opted to start on the hard tyre to get experience on them but, I got a good start for those tyres. In turn one, I was on the inside and on the exit of the corner, Gasly moved right to avoid another contact and we touched.
“It damaged my front wing so I had to come in to box. Additionally, on Lap 3, I lost one of my mirrors, so the blue flags weren’t easy. I was not in the best shape with some damage but, I know it sounds strange and I thought I would never say something like this.”