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Gasly takes blame after crash compounds Baku nightmare

The Alpine driver had overcome a fire earlier in the day before crashing out of qualifying for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Pierre Gasly has taken the blame for the crash that ended his torrid Friday at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. The Alpine driver was already on the back foot after his car caught fire in the opening quarter of the weekend's only practice session, losing valuable preparation time. But despite the internal damage, Gasly's mechanics - with the help of those on teammate Esteban Ocon's side of the garage - were able to repair the Frenchman's A523 just in time for qualifying. Gasly was unable to take advantage of the quick turnaround, however, triggering the second red flag of Q1 when hitting the barriers lining Turn 3 to ensure his place on the back row of the grid for Sunday's grand prix. "Very disappointed," said Gasly. "A pretty tough day overall. FP1 didn't go as planned, we had a hydraulic issue in the first 20 minutes. "The team did an incredible job to repair the car, literally a minute before qualifying and after it was tricky - just a few laps and coming into Turn 3, I didn't brake so late but didn't brake hard enough so I could make the corner and just understeered and put it into the wall. "Pretty frustrating but thanks to the new format, we can put this behind us and refresh for the sprint."

Gasly looking for positives

Gasly's pain was compounded by the damage done to Alpine's upgrades added to the car this weekend with little running time afforded to gather data from the new components. But he insisted: "We have got to look at some positives and where we can find some but generally it has been challenging for us as a team. "We score points only [in the sprint] and on Sunday so we will give our best shot, we can overtake so we will have to use these opportunities and hopefully we can be a good surprise."

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