Nightmare for Alpine as repair work in vain following Pierre Gasly Q1 crash

Henry Valantine
Pierre Gasly at the side of the track. Baku April 2023.

Alpine driver Pierre Gasly at the side of the track after his car suffers a fire. Azerbaijan April 2023.

After Pierre Gasly had his car repaired following a fire in FP1, a crash in Q1 brought out the red flag for the second time in the session.

AlphaTauri driver Nyck de Vries had already crashed out at Turn 3, this coming after a braking issue had hindered the start to his qualifying session, with a lengthy delay then coming as the barriers were repaired at the side of the track.

The track eventually re-opened for the drivers with 10 minutes left in Q1, but less than three more minutes had passed before the red flags were out again, with Alpine driver Gasly tagging the wall on the exit of the same corner and causing further damage to his A523.

The impact for the Frenchman was a heavy one as he helplessly slid along the wall before pulling into a run-off area for the marshals to clear his car away, with Gasly seen shaking his head behind the wheel and apologising to his team over the radio.

It will likely be a heavier blow for his mechanics, who had been working flat-out in between FP1 and qualifying on ensuring he was able to compete in the session at all, after a fire in his power unit prompted a full engine change in between sessions – with some of team-mate Esteban Ocon’s mechanics also seen helping get Gasly’s car prepared in time for qualifying.

PlanetF1.com recommends

F1 live timing: Updates from the Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Baku GP FP1: Max Verstappen quickest in a fiery practice session

As for De Vries, it marks further disappointment at the start of the season for him, with the AlphaTauri driver currently sitting at the bottom of the Drivers’ standings after a tricky beginning to his first full year in Formula 1.

Both drivers will now start Sunday’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix at the back of the grid, with a recovery mission to be done in order to score points come Sunday.