In an abrupt end to the second free practice session at the Japanese Grand Prix, Pierre Gasly crashed into the barriers. While Gasly remained unscathed, his Alpine team now face an extensive overnight repair.
Pierre Gasly, known for his precision on the track, encountered an unexpected twist during the closing minutes of FP2 at Suzuka. Misjudging his speed at the second Degner corner, Gasly locked up, leaving him with no option but to collide with the unyielding barrier. It was a dramatic moment in an otherwise challenging session.
Gasly’s misfortune extended beyond this unfortunate incident. Throughout the day, he struggled to find the pace that typically defines his performance. His lap times placed him in the undesirable position of recording the second slowest time on the track, and for the majority of the session, he remained outside the coveted top 10.
A common grievance among drivers on this particular day was unexpected tire wear, a hurdle Gasly was no stranger to. He joined the chorus of racers, including George Russell, in highlighting this challenging aspect of the Suzuka circuit. Gasly expressed his frustration, saying, “The tire wear caught us off guard today. It’s a factor we need to address moving forward.”
“I just lost the front slightly and I could not correct it in time and that meant we slid through the gravel and into the barrier,” Gasly described, showing a clear determination to learn from this misstep, adding, “We will learn from it and move on.”
Gasly’s teammate, Esteban Ocon, found himself in a similar predicament, struggling to secure a spot in the elusive top 10. However, the narrow gap of just half a second between Gasly, who found himself in 19th place, and Sergio Perez in ninth, suggests that an intense and closely contested qualifying session awaits.
“The tyres are quite challenging and it’s something we’ll certainly aim to get on top of ready for the rest of the weekend.”
Amidst these hurdles and setbacks, Gasly remains undeterred. He commended the Alpine team’s resilience and expressed his optimism, saying, “We also saw some good improvements from FP1 to FP2, and we put in some competitive lap times in the afternoon session.” In a field as competitive as Formula 1, even minor improvements can yield significant gains, and Gasly believes that with concerted effort, they can elevate their position on the grid.
“At this stage of the race weekend, I would say we have some work to do and I’m sure there’s more to come from us,” Gasly shared with emphasis on the importance of precision.
Gasly concluded with a blend of hope and determination, “We have some work to do overnight, and hopefully, we can be in a strong position tomorrow to secure another stellar qualifying performance.” Despite the challenges encountered during FP2, the Alpine F1 team remains focused on their pursuit of success at the Japanese Grand Prix.