Gasly at risk of grid penalty following FP2 engine blaze

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Pierre Gasly's fiery exit from FP2 on Friday has put the AlphaTauri driver at risk of a grid penalty for Sunday's Portuguese Grand Prix.

Gasly's afternoon session was cut short when the Frenchman's engine suddenly suffered a complete electrical blackout. As the AlphaTauri driver coasted to a halt, a fire erupted at the rear.

Gasly quickly exited his car but the blaze continued unabated until the marshals reached the AlphaTauri and extinguished the flames.

"Literally five seconds before I stopped I just lost everything," he said. "The steering, the electricity in the car.

"We're still investigating what happened. Obviously, there was a lot of fire at the back of the car and things burning, so we need to analyse and know what happened."

Ahead of this weekend's round, Gasly had reached the limit for all six elements of his power unit. If Honda cannot replace any potentially damaged components with elements in its pool, the AlphaTauri charger will be hit with a grid penalty.

Gasly also lamented the loss of mileage caused by Friday's incident which prevented him from sampling Pirelli's medium and soft compounds.

"For sure it's not ideal, especially because we could not run the option tyre, we had only the base this morning," he said.

"On a new track like this it's never great. But that's what we got, unfortunately. We'll try to get as much data as we can on Dany's side.

"Pace-wise it looked pretty decent all day long, but I'm still not feeling super comfortable with the car, so I think we can improve it for tomorrow. It will be important, FP3, because we need to recover these laps."

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