Toro Rosso drivers' collision put down to 'miscommunication'

© XPB 

The golden rule of never clashing with your team mate was lost on Toro Rosso's drivers in Sunday's Chinese Grand Prix when Pierre Gasly made an optimistic move on fellow junior bull Brendon Hartley.

The Frenchman undertook the maneuver at the Turn 14 hairpin on lap 30 believing Hartley would facilitate the pass, following an order from the Toro Rosso pitwall telling the Kiwi to let his team mate through.

"They told me on the radio 'okay, Brendon is going to let you pass, at the end of the straight'. So I expected him to let me by, I went on the inside," explained Gasly.

"I expected him to leave me a bit of space to turn, and finally when he started to turn like normally and I was on the inside, was too late and there was nothing I could do.

"I tried to brake and avoid him, was way too late, we made contact and basically that was it.

"It was a shame, because of course the last thing you want is to have contact with your teammate, just a shame, but I think we misunderstood each other.

"I expected him to do something and he probably expected something else."

Hartley put the mishap - which completely changed the complexion of the race following the entry of the Safety Car - down to a miscommunication. He had every intention of yielding the position to his team mate but on the exit of Turn 14, not the entry.

"It was clearly a bit of miscommunication," Hartley said.

"We switched positions on the first stint as well because I was struggling on the ultrasofts, I let him by on the exit of Turn 14 and the second time I was asked, I planned to do the same.

"But my feeling is he must have thought that I was opening the door on the entry, which was not the case."

Gasly was handed a 10-second penalty by the stewards for the incident and two penlty points on his licence.

"I mean, there was nothing we could do," said Gasly about the sanction.

"For sure on TV I think looks really bad for myself, but with what we had said, it was pretty clear that we'd make the driver swap there, I never expected him to turn like this.

"So of course, if we would've been in a fight, I would not have tried this."

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