Pierre Gasly likened the back of his AlphaTauri to being like a “barbecue” after a fire stopped him from finishing the Bahrain Grand Prix.
The Frenchman had been running well inside the points throughout the race in Sakhir, but suddenly pulled off to one side as his steering wheel cut to blackness and his AT03 was left without power.
He swiftly clambered out of his stricken car as it caught alight and quickly turned into a blaze towards the back of the AlphaTauri, with marshals on hand nearby with fire extinguishers coming quickly to put it out.
Gasly was understandably disappointed to end the race in such fashion after a solid race up to that point.
“The whole car just switched off outside of Turn 1 and then after, it started to smell not too good inside the car,” he told Formula1.com.
lap 46/47: noooo!@PierreGASLY has pulled off the track with a smokey car 😞 it was all going so well
— Scuderia AlphaTauri (@AlphaTauriF1) March 20, 2022
“There was pretty much a barbecue at the back of the car, so not the start we hoped for. It’s a shame because until then the race was amazing.
“We managed to have a really good start, I managed to pass Fernando [Alonso], also Kevin [Magnussen] when I had the chance to run quite comfortably in P8.
“So we lost some important points, but there are still quite a lot of positives to take from today.”
Along with the retirements of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez, the debut of Red Bull Powertrains saw three of their four cars not make the finish line.
But despite those issues, Gasly is confident the team’s engine operation, still run closely in conjunction with Honda as they transition away from Formula 1, will be back on track sooner rather than later.
“I was positively surprised,” Gasly said of his car’s pace. “I must say it’s looking pretty good for the next few races. Obviously, we still need to understand what’s happened because I saw Max had a problem and also Checo as well.
“So not a great day for Honda, but I’m sure we’ll find solutions and, as we said, the pace was great, I had some good battles.
“It felt good to be back racing again and we’ll go again next weekend.”
2022 a key season but it’s business as usual for Gasly
Pierre Gasly says that he will be keeping the driving style he adopted in 2021 for 2022.