Pierre Gasly’s hilarious response to finding out Ferrari’s US GP strategy plan

Thomas Maher
Sparks fly from under Charles Leclerc's Ferrari over the United States GP weekend at the Circuit of the Americas.

Sparks fly from under Charles Leclerc's Ferrari over the United States GP weekend at the Circuit of the Americas.

Charles Leclerc embarking on a one-stop strategy had Pierre Gasly laughing before the United States Grand Prix had even begun.

Leclerc was the only driver to use a one-stop strategy during the US Grand Prix, a strategy that netted him sixth place on track before his eventual disqualification for an excessively worn underfloor plank.

With tyre degradation a weakness of the Ferrari in the Sprint race on Saturday, the choice was revealed to Gasly as the two friends spoke on the grid prior to the race getting underway.

Pierre Gasly: No f**king way was I doing a one-stop!

The Alpine driver met Leclerc for a brief chat prior to the US Grand Prix, with the Monegasque earnestly asking Gasly about his strategy plans for the race.

Gasly recounted the chat to Will Buxton on F1TV, with the broadcaster asking if there had been much of a debate about whether to go with a one or two-stop strategy.

“No there wasn’t,” he laughed.

“The first time it came up was when Charles came up to me on the grid and said ‘Are you also going for a one-stop?’ and I was like ‘There is no f**king way I’m going for a one-stop!’ and he was like ‘OK!’

“We looked at each other and I was a bit confused by what he was saying but I think we did the best strategy we could and, from his face after, I don’t think he liked that one-stop strategy much!'”

Leclerc had been quite unhappy after his race, having struggled with dental issues leading into the weekend, even before news came through of his disqualification.

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Fred Vasseur: Ferrari ‘convinced’ one-stop was a good choice

Ferrari team boss Fred Vasseur later explained to media the thinking behind the decision to embark on a one-stop strategy.

“With Charles, who was 10 seconds in front of Carlos after 12 laps, we committed for one-stop, and it was not the good choice, it’s obvious,” he said.

“Probably the issue is that we didn’t have a clear picture about this before the race, we were a bit hesitant, and he was a bit hesitant in the first stint, pushing or not pushing. And we made a mistake.

“It was not very clear before the race, as you can imagine. We had two options. In terms of numbers, it was very, very close. I think where we made the mistake is that we anticipated that the field will be 50-50. And it was not at all.”

With the entire rest of the field committing to a two-stop strategy, Vasseur was reluctant to try guessing how Leclerc’s race might have played out had he run the one-stop.

“I don’t want to do it,” he said. “Because ‘if, if, if, if, if,’ – first the French team in rugby would be in the [World Cup] final, and also the English team! And we would have won the World Cup in football two years ago, and so on.

“For sure, you can redo the race and imagine that he was six or seven seconds ahead of Sainz, and Leclerc would have done ‘this’ or ‘this’.

“But I think it’s not the right approach, we have to be focused on the mistake, to try to understand why we made the choice, because we were convinced that it was the good one, with the elements that we had at this stage.

“It means that the numbers that we had on the pit wall, and at the factory at this stage of the race, were not good ones.”

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