Pierre Gasly fuming at AlphaTauri for ‘throwing it away’ in Singapore

Michelle Foster
Pierre Gasly with his hand on his head. Hungaroring July 2022.

Pierre Gasly has criticised AlphaTauri for taking an unnecessary risk by pitting him early for slick tyres at a damp Marina Bay circuit, the driver among the first to pit.

Starting seventh, Gasly had a strong start to the grand prix as he ran P7 through to his pit stop on lap 32.

AlphaTauri took the gamble to put him onto slicks despite George Russell being the only driver to have already done so with the Mercedes racer well off the pace.

Ironically, four laps later Gasly’s team-mate Yuki Tsunoda crashed, giving the rest of the field and those Gasly was fighting a free pit stop.

The Frenchman dropped to P13 in his pit stop and was only able to recover to 10th.

He was not at all impressed with his team’s strategy call.

“If you don’t do a good job, that’s usually fair. It’s as simple as that. I think we didn’t do a good job,” he said, quoted by Motorsport.com.

“We were seventh, ahead of the two Aston Martins, we had everything in hand and we threw it away because we pitted too early.

“There was no communication, no dialogue, which I don’t quite understand why. We took a risk at a moment when it wasn’t necessary.”

The timing of Tsunoda’s crash meant both the McLarens and the Aston Martin drivers were handed free pit stops, all four finishing ahead of Gasly.

Gasly fuming over lost positions in the standings

Aston Martin leapt up from ninth in the Constructors’ Championship to P7, AlphaTauri down to ninth.

“We came into the pits when everyone else was on the track and we were overtaken by four cars,” Gasly added.

“This is, of course, very disappointing for the whole team and for all of us because it means we drop two places in the team standings.

“Daniel [Ricciardo] was way behind us but he stayed out like we should have and finished P5.

“So it’s nine points we lost, nine important points. So yeah, I’m just sad and not satisfied with our performance.

“I mean, with the position we were in – we were ahead of our two main rivals on the track, in drying conditions and you know warming up [tyres] would be difficult – I don’t see the point in risking something like that. And we simply gave away our position.

“And when do we have a chance to get P5? This year that’s only happened once in 17 races. So it’s frustrating now because we are pushing really hard and we just didn’t make the right decision.”

The driver, who is reportedly off to Alpine next season with his AlphaTauri race seat going to Nyck de Vries, says he will speak to the team about Sunday’s strategy.

“It was just too soon and I don’t understand why we did it,” he said. “I haven’t spoken to them.

“Of course we’ll check, they have their reasons for that, but we should at least have communicated and that wasn’t the case.”

AlphaTauri admit they switched too early

Jody Egginton, technical director at AlphaTauri, concedes the team made the switch too early onto the slicks.

That not only cost both drivers positions, but also had Tsunoda sliding off into the barrier.

“After all the hard work the team and the drivers have done over the weekend, it was not for us to finish in the points with both cars,” he said. “That’s because our engineering team switched to slick tyres too early.

“That cost both drivers a good position and unfortunately Yuki also slid off the track shortly after. That meant we only finished with one car and scored far fewer points than we should have.

“As a team, we will now analyse the race in detail to understand the areas where we can improve and take the necessary lessons to be able to make better use of such opportunities next time.

“We missed an opportunity that we should have grabbed with both hands.”