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Gasly pinpoints why Japanese GP 'was over before it started'

Alpine's Pierre Gasly has explained why he was "hoping for another red flag" during the Japanese Grand Prix, with him unable to capitalise on two strong starts at Suzuka.

Gasly
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Alpine's Pierre Gasly has detailed the huge damage he sustained in an incident involving team-mate Esteban Ocon that wrecked his Japanese Grand Prix.

Despite making two good launches from the pair of standing starts, Gasly's challenge from 17th on the grid was hampered after contact with Yuki Tsunoda's RB and the sister A524 of Ocon on the second start after the red flag.

He would go on to finish 16th to continue Alpine's points drought to start the season, with Ocon one place higher in 15th as the one-time grand prix winner revealed the amount of damage he carried compromised his race.

"I had an amazing first start, I managed to move up three positions,” Gasly explained to media including RacingNews365.

"The second start was very good, I managed to pass Esteban and get alongside Yuki and then unfortunately, I got sandwiched – Yuki turning left, Esteban right, and [he] ultimately touched me on the left side of my floor.

"After that, I was down something like 40 points of downforce, that it was pretty much game over – I was trying to stay out there, hoping for another red flag to make changes.

"It was just a racing incident, but it cost us a lot. It was a very long, very difficult afternoon."

Trying to find the positives

Amid its troubled start to the season, the worst for Team Enstone since it was Lotus in 2014, there was some positive news as it brought the first batch of upgrades - which delivered a boost.

“On the positive side, we had the first set up of upgrades, which apparently delivered what we expected – so that was very positive," Gasly added.

“We just need to crack on with the new parts and upgrades on the car. I know the team is working really hard.

“Overall, we know we’re still too slow and we've got to find more performance.

“I know they are [the team] working really hard on it – they managed to get this first upgrade this weekend, and now we need to get the next set as soon as possible.”

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