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Gasly "surprised" Leclerc escaped punishment for Styria clash

NEWS STORY
01/07/2021

Pierre Gasly admits to being surprised that the Styrian Grand Prix stewards didn't investigate Charles Leclerc following their first lap clash.

The pair clashed twice at Turn 1, once as they entered the corner, three abreast with Fernando Alonso, and again as the Ferrari driver rejoined the track.

Suffering a left-rear puncture in the process, Gasly slipped down the field suffering further clashes with Nicholas Latifi and Antonio Giovinazzi before heading back to the pits and retirement.

Speaking as the Austrian Grand Prix weekend got underway, Gasly, who had qualified sixth and was looking for a decent points haul, admitted surprise that Leclerc wasn't even investigated for the incident.

"Obviously it wasn't done on purpose," said the Frenchman, "and it's not something that Charles deliberately did. But for sure, it has quite a big consequence on my race and, especially after seeing Valtteri get a penalty for losing control of his car in the pit lane but not really affecting anyone else's race, this, which obviously had an impact on my race, yes, I must say, I was a bit surprised.

"At the end of the day I just care about my own race and it would have not changed anything on my side," he added. "It's something that we're just going to talk about with Michael (Masi)."

Asked if the incident has compromised their off-track relationship, the pair having been friends for many years, Gasly admitted: "He came to see me after the race; I was still pissed off...

"It doesn't matter if it's your friend, I was still quite upset, but as I said, I know him, I know the way he races, he's a fair guy and he didn't do it on purpose.

"It's just hard," he continued, "but it's part of racing, these things happen once in a while. We've been in Formula 1 together for four years, came together quite close many times and unfortunately this time I had to retire and we just need to make sure it doesn't happen anymore."

"Looking back at the incident, yes, there's maybe something I could have done to avoid it but now it's too late," said Leclerc.

"For my wheel-to-wheel racing, I am quite satisfied with it. It's also on the limit but last race, it helped us massively to come back through the field without losing too much pace.

"It's always a fine balance, it was obviously a bit too much on the first lap, but I spoke with Pierre, everything is fine there and that's it."

Check out our Thursday gallery from Spielberg, here.

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