Formula 1

Pierre Gasly’s Confusion Over Alpine’s Last-Minute Order in F1 Japanese GP

Pierre Gasly voiced his confusion and frustration regarding a sudden team order from Alpine in the Japanese Grand Prix. This unexpected directive, which led to internal discussions, raised several questions.

Key Takeaways:

  • During the final lap of the Japanese Grand Prix, Pierre Gasly was instructed to let his teammate, Esteban Ocon, overtake him, which came as a surprise considering Gasly’s lead and fresher tyres.
  • Initially leading the race, Gasly’s position changed after Ocon, who had suffered a puncture, made an earlier pit stop, allowing him to move ahead strategically.
  • Gasly openly expressed disbelief at the order, describing it as a “complete joke,” and later sought to understand the team’s rationale behind this strategy, planning to discuss it internally.

In an unexpected twist at the Japanese Grand Prix, Alpine driver Pierre Gasly found himself at the center of a controversial team order. Gasly, who had started ahead of his teammate Esteban Ocon, managed to maintain a leading position for a significant part of the race. However, a strategic pit stop by Ocon, following an early race puncture, shifted the dynamics, propelling Ocon ahead of Gasly.

The climax of the race’s drama unfolded in its final lap when Gasly, equipped with fresher tyres and in a viable position to advance, was instructed to allow Ocon to pass. Gasly’s reaction to this order was one of sheer astonishment and frustration. He conveyed his disbelief over the radio, questioning the rationale behind such a decision given his advantageous position. Gasly remarked in the heat of the moment, “Wait, what the f***, [are] you kidding me, why you saying like, I was faster, I’m on fresher rubber if he would not have passed me I’d have overtaken him anyway. Are you serious? You’re being serious? I started in front, I was in front the whole race, you let him undercut me.”

Despite his frustration and disbelief, Gasly’s race engineer, Karel Loos, stood firm on the order, which Gasly ultimately followed, albeit dubbing it a “complete joke.” The decision left Gasly in need of answers, especially as such a strategy was not pre-discussed.

Gasly later reflected on the situation with a cooler head, acknowledging the importance of the team’s collective interest. In a conversation with MotorsportWeek, he stated, “I think we did a good strategy. As a team, we did the best job we could with both cars. In the end, I don’t understand the team’s decision, but I respected it. I let Esteban past. But in the end, it’s three points for the team, and that’s what we have to look at.”

Despite the incident, Gasly remains optimistic about Alpine’s future prospects. He sees potential in the team’s progress and believes upcoming races offer more opportunities, especially as they close in on Aston Martin in the standings. The incident, though controversial, serves as a testament to the complexities and strategic maneuverings inherent in Formula 1 racing.

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