Gasly explains ‘quite scary’ Chinese GP pitstop confusion


Pierre Gasly recounted the "quite scary" moment in Sunday’s Chinese GP when a communication breakdown resulted in an Alpine mechanic being knocked over and the team hit with a hefty fine.

During Gasly's first pit stop on lap 11, disaster nearly struck when he was mistakenly given the green light to leave his pit box before the crew had finished securing the right-rear wheel.

As Gasly lurched forward, the loose wheel dislodged and sent a mechanic sprawling to the ground.

Thankfully, Alpine later confirmed that the mechanic had escaped the incident unharmed. However, the stewards weren't as forgiving.

They deemed Alpine "wholly responsible" for the unsafe release and slapped the Enstone squad with a €10,000 fine.

This incident served as a stark reminder of the split-second precision required during Formula 1 pit stops. Even a minor communication error can have significant consequences, putting both personnel and the driver at risk.

“Yeah, quite scary, actually,” Gasly said as he recounted the stressful moment. “The light went green so I dropped the clutch, but then it went red straightaway.

“And then I saw him in the mirror, and saw the wheel wasn’t on. The mechanic is fine, which I was a bit scared of.

“We’ve had a couple of instances this year where I’ve lost some time on the box, so I’m sure we’ll review exactly what’s happened and improve it for next time.”

While teammate Esteban Ocon narrowly missed out on securing Alpine's first points of the season with the team's upgraded chassis, Gasly's race ended in 13th place.

But he'll be looking to make a jump up the grid in Miami, where he'll also benefit from the lighter and potentially faster car.

“It’s just a couple of kilos lighter and then just more aero, more points of downforce all around,” commented Gasly.

“It’s most important that is working, we saw that from the first session.

“I was a bit impatient to get it but from Miami onwards I’ll be on that package. And we’ll keep working because I still want more than what we were seeing so we still need to find more performance.”

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