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Bahrain 'barbecue' leaves Gasly on the brink of a grid penalty

Pierre Gasly became the first driver to record a DNF in the 2022 F1 season after his AlphaTauri caught fire on Lap 44 of the Bahrain Grand Prix. The Frenchman admits that this could have consequences for the team in future races.

Pierre Gasly admits that AlphaTauri may face a difficult situation in terms of a potential grid penalty following the Frenchman's retirement from the Bahrain Grand Prix. On Lap 44 of the race, Gasly became the first driver to record a DNF in the 2022 season when his car caught fire after the engine began to lose power. This forced the driver to pull over at the side of the track whilst marshals worked to put out the blaze. Gasly admits that the team still need to "analyse" what happened, but told media including RacingNews365.com : "[The power unit] just switched off, and then basically [there was a] barbecue at the back of the car."

Could Gasly be forced to take a grid penalty?

The issue came as a surprise to Gasly and AlphaTauri, particularly given that the team did not experience any similar problems during pre-season testing. "We were super confident after testing," the 26-year-old explained. "We didn't have one single issue, and [it] just shows this sport keeps you grounded all the time. You can never be overconfident about anything." Now the main concern is over the possibility of having to completely change the engine. Drivers are allocated two engine stores for the season, which means that, if a third is needed, a grid penalty will be given. There may also be further implications if other power unit elements have been damaged by the fire. As such, Gasly could be faced with taking a penalty sooner rather than later. "I just hope the engine is not gone, but we'll deal with it," he said.

Positives to take from Bahrain for Gasly

Whilst the race may not have ended well for Gasly, the Frenchman feels that there are positives to take away from how the weekend had unfolded up until that point. "Not the finish we would have liked, and especially after the race was going so well," the AlphaTauri driver added. "[We had a] great start, great battle with Fernando [Alonso], which was pretty fun, and then after also with Kevin [Magnussen]. We were in P8 quite comfortably, so just a big shame to miss out on these points." Gasly's teammate Yuki Tsunoda took home two points after finishing in eighth place.

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