When Gasly attempted an optimistic move on Brendon Hartley at the Turn 14 hairpin, he not only broke the golden rule of motorsport by hitting his teammate but completely turned the race on its head, allowing sister team Red Bull to win – grab your tinfoil hats, everyone!
Gasly (like Verstappen later would) received a 10-second time penalty for the clash, but it turned out he wasn’t just attempting a ridiculous move like Verstappen was. Instead, he was expecting Hartley to move out of the way and let him past.
“They told me on the radio ‘OK, Brendon is going to let you pass, at the end of the straight’. So I expected him to let me by, I went on the inside.
“I expected him to leave me a bit of space to turn, and finally when he started to turn like normally and I was on the inside, was too late and there was nothing I could do. I tried to brake and avoid him, was way too late, we made contact and basically that was it.”
“It was a shame, because of course the last thing you want is to have contact with your teammate, just a shame, but I think we misunderstood each other. I expected him to do something and he probably expected something else.”
If you thought the worst thing about team orders was being deprived of fair racing, think again! Gasly also said that he’d never have attempted such a pass if he was properly battling Hartley – take note, Max…
Hartley explained that he’d led Gasly ahead at the same spot earlier in the race and was planning to do the same again.
“It was clearly a bit of miscommunication. We switched positions on the first stint as well because I was struggling on the ultrasofts, I let him by on the exit of Turn 14 and the second time I was asked, I planned to do the same. But my feeling is he must have thought that I was opening the door on the entry, which was not the case.”
It’s a pretty embarrassing situation in what was a bad weekend for the team after the highs of Bahrain. Gasly’s “now we can fight” message still applies but for now, the only fighting they’ll be doing is trying to explain themselves to a very angry Franz Tost.