Pierre Gasly explains ‘quite scary’ pit stop moment at the Chinese Grand Prix

Michelle Foster
Pierre Gasly makes a pit stop

Pierre Gasly makes a pit stop

Knocking over one of his right rear tyre mechanics in China, Pierre Gasly explained he was shown the green light to leave the pits only for it change to red.

The good news is his mechanic is “fine”.

Pierre Gasly’s mechanic avoids injury in ‘scary’ pit stop incident

Gasly’s chances of surging from 15th on the grid to score a point at the Chinese Grand Prix were hindered when he made a 19-second pit stop, a “scary” moment delaying him in the pits.

In the pits to swap his medium Pirellis for a set of hard tyres, Gasly was given the green light to leave the pits only for to quickly change to red as his rear-right tyre was not attached.

However, momentarily pulling away before slamming the brakes, the Frenchman knocked over one of his mechanics who was fortunate not to have the driver drive over him – that incident subsequently landing Alpine a €10,000 fine for an unsafe pit stop.

“Yeah, quite scary, actually,” Gasly told the media in Shanghai. “My green light, the light went green so I dropped the clutch, but then it went red straightaway.

“And then I saw him in the mirror, and saw the wheel wasn’t on. The mechanic is fine, which I was a bit scared of.

“We’ve had a couple of instances this year where I’ve lost some time on the box, so I’m sure we’ll review exactly what’s happened and improve it for next time.”

Stationary for 19 seconds, Gasly dropped to the very back of the field.

He recovered to 13th place where he was nine seconds away from a top-ten showing, the driver claiming his lap 1 drama with Alex Albon, which was noted by the stewards although they felt no further action was required, also cost him on the day.

“After we had the Safety Car, so it cost me some positions at the time,” he said of his pit stop.

“I also had a bit of a moment with Alex at the start as well, kind of being pushed wide.

“There were a couple of areas where we’ve lost time, and we’ll review, but with the car we had to do honestly, it’s already glad we finished 13th.”

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Pierre Gasly will have the new Alpine chassis in Miami

The good news for Gasly is at the next race weekend, Miami, he’ll also have Alpine’s upgraded chassis which is a couple of kilograms lighter than their first edition for 2024.

His team-mate Esteban Ocon raced the upgrade in China and finished P11, seven seconds up on Gasly.

“It’s just a couple of kilos lighter,” said Gasly, “and then just more aero, more points of downforce all around.

“It’s most important that is working, we saw that from the first session.

“I was a bit impatient to get it but from Miami onwards I’ll be on that package.

“And we’ll keep working because I still want more than what we were seeing so we still need to find more performance.”

He added: “The first few races we were so on the back foot, we couldn’t really attack, we couldn’t really defend our position.

“Whereas it [the new chassis] just brings us a couple of tenths, which means we can be slightly closer, we can be a bit more in the mix.

“And on days like today, we can see that we’re actually not that far from the points.

“There is a big gap with the top five so it seems like at least for the next couple of months we’ll be fighting for small points but it will be crucial and definitely make a big difference at the end of the year.

“So yeah, definitely looking forward to Miami.”

Read next: Chinese GP: Max Verstappen shrugs off mid-race chaos to beat Lando Norris in Shanghai