Friday, July 19, 2024

Gasly Drops Six Places on Spanish Grand Prix Grid after Twin Penalties for Impeding

Pierre Gasly has been handed two three-place grid penalties for the Spanish Grand Prix after twice being found guilty of impeding during Saturday’s Qualifying session at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

The BWT Alpine F1 Team driver had starred during the Qualifying hour in Spain and had set the fourth fastest time during Q3, but he will now start tenth after being found guilty of impeding both Carlos Sainz Jr. and Max Verstappen.

Speaking ahead of his penalties, Gasly says he was able to find improvements throughout the session and was pleased to find his way onto the second row for the first time as an Alpine driver, although the penalties will move him down to row five.

“I’m very pleased to qualify in fourth place in Qualifying today, my best result with Alpine this season,” said Gasly.  “It was very close out there, very fine margins between many cars, and in the end we’re just less than one tenth of a second from being on the front row.

“We built up our session well, kept finding improvements and then we finished with a very good lap in Q3, which was really enjoyable I must say. It’s a real pity we will not start from the second row tomorrow after the penalty for impeding.

“I think it was very unfortunate with the traffic, cars so close together and the high-speed final corners. We have to accept it, move on and keep our heads down for tomorrow where I know we can still have a strong race.”

“It’s been another positive day for us” – Esteban Ocon

Team-mate Esteban Ocon was also able to make it into the top ten during Qualifying on Saturday, and he will be looking to build on his podium finish in Monaco last weekend with another strong performance.

Ocon qualified seventh but will move up a spot thanks to Gasly’s penalties, and he feels the team have made good progress with its updates in recent weeks that has given them the chance to shine.

“It’s been another positive day for us,” said Ocon.  “A big shoutout to Enstone and Viry as the car has been strong again this weekend and the updates we have brought have been working well.

“We had both cars into Q3 which was the aim today so well done to the team for that achievement. We performed well all of Qualifying up until the last run in Q3 where I did not quite nail the lap and lost some valuable lap time.”

The Frenchman feels the mixed-up grid can make for a good and exciting Sunday at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, and he hopes to be in contention for good points.

“That said, seventh on the grid tomorrow is not a bad place to start and we will give it all to finish with some strong points,” he added.  “I also have to say it’s great to see a bit of a mix up on the grid ahead of the race.

“It’s great for the sport and I think we’ll have an exciting Sunday and of course we’ll be pushing for some good points.”

Esteban Ocon will line-up sixth in Spain – Credit: BWT Alpine F1 Team