MUST-HEAR: Hartley’s irate radio as team mate Gasly refuses order to let him by
They may not have been fighting for points at Interlagos, but that meant little to Toro Rosso pair Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley during the latter stages of Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix. Hartley, running on fresher tyres, wanted to get ahead of his struggling team mate without incident, but the Frenchman refused to budge despite team orders – and the result was a colourful radio exchange…
Toro Rosso had high hopes of a top-ten finish in Brazil, having reverted to Honda’s Spec 3 engine for the penultimate round of this season. But things didn’t play out in their favour, and with ten laps to go, Gasly was some way adrift of 10th-placed Sergio Perez, with team mate Hartley one spot behind him.
And when Renault’s Carlos Sainz started to pile pressure on Hartley for P12, the Kiwi - who switched to a fresh set of supersoft tyres on Lap 49, whereas Gasly had put on the medium compound on Lap 26 - began to get anxious, and wanted his team mate to let him past.
Gasly initially refused to move over, somewhat angering Hartley and leading to a string of expletive-laden radio messages in the direction of the New Zealander’s engineer...
“Mate I’m right up his ******* ******,” he told his Toro Rosso pit wall. “So what’s happened guys? I’m not attacking him because you’re telling me he’s letting me by and then he ****** doesn’t do it. Mate I’m so close to him - c’mon!”
The squabble went on for around eight laps, before the pair eventually swapped positions with two laps to go, with Hartley finishing 11th while Sainz ultimately got ahead of Gasly, who came home P13.
Hartley later apologised for his language on the cool-down lap, while Gasly went on to explain his refusal to follow team orders – revealing he didn’t let his team mate ahead because there was “nothing to play for” in the race.
“I had to do it two laps to the end because I was running out of fuel,” Gasly revealed after the race. “I didn’t have any fuel left for the end of the race, I was just cruising the two last laps. I just think if you are in this position you should race. Plus he was on new supersoft tyres, I was dying with my mediums.
“I just told them OK, if he is faster he can overtake me but for some reasons I don’t know he didn’t do it for 10 laps. But then after we were in such critical situation with the fuel that in the end I did it two laps to go.
“I think it’s different if you are in the top 10, there is something to play for. Today there wasn’t anything to play for in P11, P12, P13.
“At the end I’m a racing driver, I’m here to race, that’s what I want and that’s what I like and that’s my perception of motorsport and how it should be.”