Gasly blames lack of grip for 'difficult' Hungarian GP
On Friday at the Hungaroring, it looked as though Pierre Gasly had bounced back spectacularly from a trying German Grand Prix weekend, as he headed Free Practice 2 from team mate Max Verstappen. But from there, the weekend got away from him, and as Verstappen took his first ever pole position before spending the race fighting for victory against Lewis Hamilton, Gasly qualified a disappointing sixth, before coming home on Sunday in that same position – crucially having been lapped by his team mate, and with a McLaren ahead of him…
Gasly got a decent launch off the line in Hungary. But a lightning set of starts from both Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz meant that Gasly was eighth behind the two McLarens by Turn 1, falling to ninth seconds later when Kimi Raikkonen held on around the outside of the Red Bull through Turn 2.
From there, it was a frustrating slog to the finish for the Frenchman, with Gasly bottled up behind Raikkonen and then Sainz for much of the race as he eventually came home sixth behind the Spaniard.
“A difficult one,” was Gasly’s neat summary of the weekend, before he went on to elaborate: “We need to understand what went wrong, because we had a strong Friday, and then from FP3 onwards, it was really difficult and we struggled with the grip.
“It was the case in qualifying, the same kind of issues and then [in the race] it was again difficult. The start didn’t help us. After, I tried to attack as much as I could but I was just sliding everywhere, so I need to analyse and try to understand what went wrong after Friday.”
We need to sit down with the guys, find out what went wrong and then come back stronger for Spa
Approaching the summer break, Gasly finds himself at the centre of ‘silly season’ talk for all the wrong reasons, with the feeling in the paddock that, unless he enjoys a dramatic upturn of form in the next few races, he’ll be unlikely to retain his seat at Red Bull beyond the end of the season.
Asked why he felt he wasn’t able to match the performances that Verstappen was putting in currently – the Dutchman having won two of the last four races – Gasly replied: “We need to analyse, because on Friday we had decent pace.
“For sure, Max had decent pace [as well], but then we just lost massively from FP3 and just struggled with the grip a lot. So at the moment, I think we just need to sit down with the guys and work all together to find out what went wrong and then come back stronger for Spa.”
Dropping points at the Hungaroring to Sainz, who finished fifth for the second consecutive race, means that Gasly now sits just five points ahead of the Spaniard in sixth place in the championship, having scored less than half the points of fifth-place man, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.