Pierre Gasly is facing a pit lane start for the Italian Grand Prix after he crashed his AlphaTauri on the first lap of the Sprint Qualifying race at Monza.
Gasly made a tremendous start to the race to vault past Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes on the run into Turn 1 but, lining up behind the fast-starting McLarens, clipped the rear of Daniel Ricciardo's car.
The contact damaged his front wing and, while powering through Curva Grande, it detached and went under the car. Skittering through the gravel, Gasly was powerless to stop his car from bouncing into the tyre barrier.
Out of the race on the spot, he was uninjured in the crash. But the extensive damage to the AlphaTauri under parc ferme conditions means that Gasly will start from the pit lane for Sunday's Grand Prix.
Already facing a back of the grid start, AlphaTauri are making changes that trigger a pit lane start penalty – the exact details of the components being changed are yet to be confirmed by the team or the FIA.
"I felt the contact with Daniel and straight after that I went on the radio to ask the team, 'Let me know if there is something', and literally two seconds after that the front wing went under the car, and I went straight into the wall," a disconsolate Gasly told media, including RacingNews365.com, after the session.
Gasly, who won the 2020 edition of the Grand Prix for AlphaTauri, explained the crash from his perspective.
"I could see some sparks, but I didn't know if it was the endplate which was scratching on the floor, or if it was actually the front wing that was fully dislocated.
"Basically, I think five or six seconds after the contact, it went under the car and that was it."
Having been a passenger as the car sailed through the gravel trap, Gasly said it was unpleasant feeling to be so helpless while seeing the tyre wall come closer and closer.
"It's definitely not a nice feeling," he said.
"Even if you have a problem, as long as you can turn and kind of direct the car in the direction you want, that's fine. But at such a speed, when I felt the front wing [go] under the car and I was turning but just going straight into the wall, it was clearly not a nice feeling.
"In the end, I'm fine and that's the most important, but obviously I'm very disappointed because we had a very good start.
"We know it’s going to be extremely difficult to come back. We need to try everything to at least score points."
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