Gasly: 'Honestly I thought we were in the wall'

© XPB 

AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly projected for a split second a grim end to his wheel-to-wheel battle with Sergio Perez in Sunday's Belgian GP as the pair fought for position on the run down to Eau Rouge.

From P12 on the grid, Gasly gained several positions on the opening lap of the race to find himself snapping at Perez's heels at the start of the second lap.

The Frenchman got a good run on the Racing Point driver out of La Source, but Perez drifted right and squeezed the AlphaTauri towards the right-side wall.

Gasly had the last word and snatched the position from his rival by holding the inside line into Raidillon, but it had been a close call.


"Honestly I thought we were in the wall," Gasly told Sky F1's Anthony Davidson.

"I'm not kidding, I was inside, I was like I can't move more than that. And at that point we're probably going 280 or 300km/h.

"Sergio really squeezed me, which made me even more like I'm not gonna lift, I'm gonna make this work. And it was tight.

"Sergio is a hard racer, I knew it but there for sure my heartbeat went slightly high when he started to squeeze me.

"But I was committed and I was like, there is no way I'm gonna lift, I'm gonna make this move work, and it was a great one."

Perez's move was reminiscent of the Mexican and Esteban Ocon's infamous battle at Spa in 2017, when the Racing Point teammates touched but were miraculously spared any misfortune.

Gasly admitted he had not given any thought to whom he was racing against.

"You know where the limit is, and you always expect respect from everyone," he said. "And also, you know where the line is, and you should not cross it.

"And that was borderline, but in the end there was the space for one car."

Gasly, who was elected 'Driver of the Day' by F1 fans, raced on to finish eighth, battling at one point with Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, a brief fight that gave the AlphaTauri driver a front seat to the dismal performance of the Scuderia's SF1000.

"I think they tried a lot of things this weekend with wings, a low one, high one, but I mean, it's even painful to see them that slow, especially when you see what they achieved last year," Gasly said.

"There's clearly a massive deficit, and they can't really fight. I mean, I'm happy to finish ahead of them, that's for sure. But they are having a tough time."

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