Albon: ‘No way’ Gasly should have been penalised

Date published: October 12 2021 - Finley Crebolder

The start of the Turkish Grand Prix. Turkey October 2021

Alex Albon is adamant that Pierre Gasly didn’t deserve to be given a penalty for hitting Fernando Alonso at the start of the Turkish GP.

The Frenchman secured a strong result at Istanbul Park, crossing the line in P6 to score a crucial eight points for AlphaTauri, and things could have been even better.

He finished just over two seconds behind the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton and would have surely beaten the Mercedes man if not for a five-second time penalty he had to serve in the pits.

Such a penalty was awarded to him for a Turn 1 incident in which he hit Fernando Alonso, causing the Alpine driver to spin and drop to the back of the field.

Gasly said he was sandwiched between his midfield rival and Sergio Perez and had nowhere to go and, even though the Spaniard didn’t blame him for it, the stewards did.

Of the collision, the stewards’ verdict read: “Gasly tried to negotiate Turn 1 with [Sergio] Perez on the inside and Alonso on the outside.

“Alonso was slightly in front of Gasly at the exit of the corner when both cars made contact, causing Alonso to spin.

“The stewards determine that Gasly was predominantly at fault for the collision as he did not leave enough space for Alonso on the outside.

“It should also be pointed out the stewards do not consider this incident as an unavoidable Turn 1 contact between two cars as Gasly was not sandwiched between two cars when he touched Alonso’s car.”

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Albon, who replaced Gasly at Red Bull in 2019, feels it was a harsh call and that the AlphaTauri didn’t really do anything wrong.

He also says extra leeway should have been given by the stewards as it was the first lap of the race which was taking place in tricky conditions.

“No way, not to me,” he said on the official F1 YouTube channel.

“Well firstly, it’s that unwritten rule: first corners, first laps, stewards tend to take quite a sensible approach to things – a ‘let them race’ policy.

“To me, that’s as much ‘let them race’ as it gets, in a sense that Checo’s had a good start and he’s put his nose in, as he’s entitled to do.

 

“Pierre gives him the space. Obviously, gets sandwiched, as he says on the radio, but more than anything, I don’t know what the stewards expected Pierre to do.

“The only thing I could say or think that they think about, is that he left a bit too much space in between himself and Checo.

“But honestly, in these conditions, when you do have a car coming in on the inside like that, you’re not going to give them the exact car width. You’re going to give them a car width and a little bit more.”