Pierre Gasly was one of the stars of qualifying, claiming a superb sixth on the grid for AlphaTauri. But his chance of converting that position into another big haul of points was over after little more than a corner, following contact with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

    Turning into Turn 1 three abreast with Leclerc and Alpine’s Fernando Alonso at the start, Gasly and Leclerc both ran wide. As they rejoined the track, Leclerc’s Ferrari tagged the left-rear tyre of Gasly, with the Frenchman then suffering a puncture as the field raced around the flat out Turn 2 towards the big stop at Turn 3.

    Struggling to slow his car on three wheels, Gasly then tagged both Antonio Giovinazzi’s Alfa and Nicholas Latifi’s Williams, before retreating very slowly to the pits, where his car was retired with suspension damage.

    2021 Styrian Grand Prix: Gasly and Leclerc collide in thrilling race start at the Red Bull Ring

    “There was contact and I completely punctured the whole rear,” rued Gasly. “I ended up on three wheels or even two wheels and some point, so definitely not what we wanted.

    “[It’s a] big shame because it was amazing weekend until now and yes, I’m really disappointed not to be able to fight for points and especially to score points, because we had a great package this weekend.

    “It’s really frustrating as we know how important it is to score points all the time, you know? As soon as you’re out for a race it costs you a lot in the championship and I mean now it’s just about moving on to next weekend and I think except that, the rest of the weekend went extremely well so we’ll try to repeat that next weekend.”

    The retirement ended a six-race point-scoring streak for the 25-year-old, who entered the race in P8 in the standings.