Pierre Gasly radio message reveals Alpine tension with ‘very badly managed’ incident

Jamie Woodhouse
Alpine's Pierre Gasly on track at the 2024 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Alpine's Pierre Gasly.

Pierre Gasly vented his fury over team radio at Imola, believing he was disadvantaged, as “always”, against Alpine team-mate Esteban Ocon as the signs of tension continue in this rough start to the season.

Having ushered in sweeping changes to their senior staff ranks over the last year, Alpine has found itself in quite the rut at the start of the F1 2024 campaign, the team sitting P8 in the Constructors’ Championship with just a single point to their name after seven rounds.

Pierre Gasly grills Alpine over ‘very badly managed’ FP3 incident

Additional reporting by Thomas Maher

This certainly falls far below the expectations of their drivers Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly, who are out of contract as it stands come the end of the season and both are being linked with moves away. The frustration was clear when Gasly spoke to his race engineer John Howard at the end of FP3.

With just over two minutes left on the clock following a Sergio Perez crash-induced red flag period, the mad dash to complete a final flying lap was on, Gasly left far from pleased after feeling disadvantaged by his team and suggesting this is a trend as team-mate Ocon managed to get a final push lap in, while he did not.

Gasly’s fiery radio exchange with race engineer Howard went as below.

Engineer – “We’ll go to the grid for a start.”

Gasly – “Why? We’re always the same in these situations!”

Engineer – “Everyone bunched up. So nobody got a good gap there.”

Gasly – “Yeah, except Esteban. Except Esteban. It’s always the same.”

Engineer – “Esteban didn’t have a good gap.”

Gasly – “I said we had the priority this weekend. I don’t get it.”

Engineer – “We’ll look at it later mate.”

Gasly – “Yeah, that’s [swearing bleeped]. Very badly managed. I don’t understand!”

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Gasly went on to finish P16 at Imola, two places behind Ocon, as Alpine suffered a further frustrating race weekend, Gasly saying his team tried to do “something different” by starting on the soft tyre, which backfired on him.

“We wanted to do something different, but unfortunately something different doesn’t mean that it’s something good,” Gasly told media including PlanetF1.com’s Thomas Maher.

“I think we just need to review exactly what went wrong because in the first stage of the race I was right behind Danny Ric [Daniel Ricciardo] and not too far from [Nico] Hulkenberg and then we finish behind Ocon.

“So I think we just missed a couple of things which we need to review in order to anticipate a bit better next time.”

Asked if starting on the hard tyre could therefore have been a better approach, Gasly replied: “Yes, but with hindsight you are always smarter, so it’s always easy to say that after the race, but it was a better choice I think.

“But also we’re fighting with the car, which at the moment doesn’t allow us to be on pure pace in the points, so it forces us to try something a bit out of the box, hoping that things happen, Safety Car etc. It was a very normal race and on top of that I think there were a few things which we didn’t really anticipate, which cost us quite a lot of time.”

Nonetheless, Gasly did have a positive update to give, which was that he senses a “good step forward” has been made with the Alpine A524.

“Honestly the whole weekend until today [Sunday] I was really happy,” he said, “I think there was definitely in terms of feeling and consistency a good step forward.

“Unfortunately yesterday was just you know, hided with the fact that in that lap in Q2 I went off, but apart from that lap, the rest of the weekend was very strong compared to on the first weekend. So, I felt it was definitely positive.

“In a DRS train and you’re on the gearbox of everyone, it’s always going to feel worse. So I felt like we made a small step backwards. But yeah, I think we need to review the big picture and consider everything.

“We know we’re not in a strong position to score points. We need certain circumstances to happen at the moment, but overall, I do feel we are making small steps forward.”

Next up is the Monaco Grand Prix, where Alpine made the podium last season courtesy of Ocon.

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