Pierre Gasly criticises Alpine as Lewis Hamilton damage wrecks Abu Dhabi finale

Jamie Woodhouse
Alpine driver Pierre Gasly at the side of the track after going out of FP1. Azerbaijan, April 2023.

Alpine driver Pierre Gasly looking frustrated.

Pierre Gasly made it clear that Alpine’s undercut with his team-mate Esteban Ocon “should not happen”, though Lewis Hamilton did the main damage to his Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

As Hamilton looked for a way past Gasly in the opening stages of the Abu Dhabi GP, a Gasly lock-up at Turn 6 was followed by Hamilton going into the back of his Alpine.

And just to worsen the Frenchman’s mood further, his team-mate Ocon, despite being behind him on the road, made his first stop a couple of laps earlier and successfully undercut Gasly as a result.

Pierre Gasly says Alpine strategy mishap “should not happen”

Additional reporting by Thomas Maher

Gasly was understandably livid with that move from his team, confirming behind-the-scenes talks will take place to ensure there is no repeat.

“It should not happen,” Gasly told media including PlanetF1.com’s Thomas Maher. “The leading car always has the priority and we know it should not happen.

“So, I’m sure we’ll learn from it and I’m sure it won’t happen again.

“I think the main conversation will happen in the office and I’m sure we’ll have it, but shouldn’t have happened.”

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Lewis Hamilton hit cost Pierre Gasly 0.4 seconds per lap

Shortly before that controversial Alpine call, Gasly had taken a whack from behind courtesy of Hamilton’s Mercedes.

It was immediately clear that Hamilton had front wing damage, but Gasly revealed that the Alpine diffuser was “destroyed” by the impact, costing him four-tenths of a second per lap.

P13 was his final position as neither Alpine driver scored points, Gasly suggesting Hamilton “missed the braking point” and only made the corner by hitting him.

“Most of the damage was done when Lewis just came at the back of my car and just destroyed the whole diffuser at the back of it,” said Gasly.

“After that I was losing a lot of points of downforce. With all the downforce I was losing, talking four-tenths a lap for 40 laps. So maybe there was a P10 to fight for with [Lance] Stroll, but I don’t think there was much more than that.

“I braked late, I was surprised, I think he would have gone straight if I wasn’t there.

“I started to have a bit of front graining, I locked up a bit, but still made the corner and I think he just missed the braking point and then basically ran up the back of my car.”

P6 in the Constructors’ Championship marks a disappointing campaign for Alpine, who after a major senior staff exodus mid-season, will be expecting clear progress in F1 2024.

Read next: Pierre Gasly criticises Alpine as Lewis Hamilton damage wrecks Abu Dhabi finale