Pierre Gasly handed a six-place grid penalty for impeding

Pierre Gasly handed a six-place grid penalty for impeding

Pierre Gasly has been given a six-place grid penalty for tomorrow’s Spanish Grand Prix following two separate incidents of impeding two cars.

The French driver held up Carlos Sainz and Max Verstappen, who later shared the top row of the grid, and received a penalty of three grid positions for each incident.

The Alpine driver had a solid qualifying in Spain, and in every practice session, he and teammate Esteban Ocon were near the top of the time sheets. Ocon made an impression by placing third in the Saturday morning free practice after he had previously stated that Alpine can begin regularly contending for podium finishes.

Going into qualifying, there were a lot of expectations, and the squad was hoping for an impressive performance. However, Gasly’s efforts to finish qualifying in P4 were called into question after he blocked two drivers in Q1 and Q3.

Gasly was only able to concentrate on achieving a solid result as a backup plan in case any penalties were assessed considering the investigations were not finished until after qualifying was over.

The troubles for Gasly began in Q1 when Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz ran into the Alpine and had to stop. The identical problem recurred in Q3, this time impeding Max Verstappen forcing the reigning World Champion to give up on his lap as well.

In Formula 1, the standard penalty for impeding is a three-place grid penalty meaning Gasly received a six-place grid penalty for his two infractions. His P4 has advanced to P10 but Ocon and Gasly will both start inside the top 10 despite the penalty, which is good news for Alpine.

After the penalties were officially announced, Gasly addressed the setback with the Frenchman acknowledging that the impeding “wasn’t intentional,” and he was using the data he was getting from Alpine.

“At the time I tried to do the best I could with the information I had,” Gasly said. “There obviously are rules, anything that happened wasn’t intentional and as I say I tried the best with the information I had.”

According to a statement from the stewards, one of the penalties was given because Alpine failed to alert Gasly of Max Verstappen.

“The team failed to give appropriate warning to the driver of Car 10 (Gasly), of the approach of Car 1 (Verstappen), having told him that cars behind were on a slow lap,” the statement read.

A similar statement from the stewards applied to the Sainz incident.

“The driver of Car 10 stated he was aware that the second Ferrari (Car 55, Sainz) was behind but felt he could do nothing to avoid impeding because of the high speed delta and closeness of Car 55 to Car 16 (Charles Leclerc).

“However, it is the view of the stewards that he could have moved further to the right at the exit of Turn 13.”

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