Gasly wants clean Monaco weekend after 'race to forget' in Spain

© XPB 

Pierre Gasly is counting on a clean weekend in Monaco, void of troubles, to put himself and his AlphaTauri team back on track after enduring a "race to forget" in Barcelona last weekend.

Gasly endured his third pointless race in succession at the Circuit de Catalunya, his efforts undermined by a contact with Alpine's Esteban Ocon on the opening lap and then by a clash later on with Aston Martin's Lance Stroll.

The latter incident earned the Frenchman a five-second penalty but the sanction had no bearing on a race that he finished down in 13th position.

"Honestly, I take the blame," acknowledged Gasly. "They thought that this was a five-second penalty, so it's a five-second penalty, and I need to respect their decision as well."

"I had damage from the first corner onwards, and then after I was just like a sitting duck for the whole race, I tried everything I could from inside the car, tried to race as hard as I could and defend every position.

"And it was hard racing, there was small contact, but I take the responsibility of this deserved five-second penalty."

Gasly's poor weekend in Spain was set in motion on Saturday morning when he missed FP3 due to a broken exhaust and fire, a setback that him on the backfoot for qualifying.

"It's just frustrating because every race at the moment we seem to have something coming against us," he added. "And we just can't put in, not even a strong performance, just a normal performance, with the car that we have.

"I just want to get back out there and try to have a clean weekend. That's what we aimed for coming here. Unfortunately, it didn't really happen, with FP3, a couple of issues we had there, and again today.

"It's part of the sport, it's not always ideal. And at the moment we seem to have quite a lot of obstacles.

"But we're not the kind of people to give up and we'll just work with the team and come back at it next weekend and with the best energy and ambitions to do well."

F1's next round in Monaco will offer drivers its usual array of pitfalls and challenges. But Gasly is a big fan of the Principality and he's looking forward to next weekend's street fight in Monte-Carlo although he anticipates that overtaking will be rendered even more difficult with F1's wider new-generation cars.

"Maybe sometimes the race itself is not the most exciting of the year, but in terms of the degree of difficulty for the driver it is one of the most, if not the most, difficult race of the year," he said.

"Driving right on the limit at this circuit requires maximum concentration and it’s a real challenge, one that I very much appreciate.

"I like the super-complicated track, which evolves a lot from one session to the next. You are on the limit, just a few millimetres from the barriers, and it gives you a real adrenaline rush.

"This year, with these cars that are now very wide, it might be nearly impossible to pass. But, from a driving point of view, it is one of my favourites, definitely in my top three best tracks.

"The French Grand Prix is my real home race, but naturally there is a lot of support from the fans in Monaco and there is a magic feeling around this race and the whole event."

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