Horner: Gasly Q1 exit down to "perfect storm"

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has denied suggestions that the team got Pierre Gasly's strategy wrong in qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix, saying the Frenchman was caught out by "a perfect storm".

Horner: Gasly Q1 exit down to "perfect storm"

Gasly endured a nightmare first qualifying session for his new outfit and will start only 17th on the grid after being eliminated in the opening segment.

This marked Red Bull's first Q1 exit since Max Verstappen couldn't participate in qualifying at all last year in Monaco after a practice crash.

The plan was for the Frenchman to get through Q1 using only one set of tyres, with a fast lap, a cool-down lap to recharge the battery, and a second fast lap.

However, circumstances led to Gasly doing two cool-down laps, and then subsequently his second fast lap was not quicker than the first.

By the time Gasly returned to the garage it was too late to take on a fresh set of tyres.

"It was frustrating for Pierre," Horner told Motorsport.com.

"His first lap was strong, he did a 1m23.0s, and he was a tenth up on Max's first lap.

"I think he went fourth quickest, and we expected the second lap to be quicker.

"Pierre didn't manage to improve, as Max did by two and a half tenths, and the circuit in the meantime ramped up with obviously other teams taking second sets of tyres.

"Our objective was to get through qualifying on one set to put ourselves on the front foot for the second two sessions.

"It was unfortunate. It was one of those things."

Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko had suggested immediately after qualifying that the team had made a strategy error and owed Gasly an apology.

Horner said it was not that straightforward.

"Unfortunately the spanner in the works was having to do two charge laps – that was exactly the same as Lewis Hamilton – and unfortunately his second flying lap didn't improve," Horner explained.

"There was an issue on the dash on the recharging of his battery after having set that lap.

"The bottom line was by the time the right communication had been given to him it took two cool-down laps to recharge the battery to get it into the right position to start his final timed lap, which unfortunately he didn't improve on.

"And in the meantime the circuit was evolving quicker than we expected.

"So it was almost almost a perfect storm.

"With 20/20 hindsight it's easy to say, 'Yes we should have taken two sets,' but you can only deal with what you know at the time.

"After he completed his second flying lap, he had missed the cut-off of getting in, getting a set of tyres, and getting out again.

"At the same time the track was ramping up quickly. I don't think anybody expected it – even Sebastian [Vettel] was extremely close to the cut-off.

"Obviously it's all very tight, it's frustrating for him in his first qualy, but I'm sure he'll race strongly from there tomorrow."

Pierre Gasly, Red Bull Racing RB15, kicks up some sparks

Pierre Gasly, Red Bull Racing RB15, kicks up some sparks

Photo by: Joe Portlock / LAT Images

shares
comments
Mercedes "shocked, blown away" by gap to Ferrari

Previous article

Mercedes "shocked, blown away" by gap to Ferrari

Next article

McLaren not using Petrobras to start 2019 F1 season

McLaren not using Petrobras to start 2019 F1 season
Load comments
Was Hamilton's Hungary solo start a good or bad look for F1? Prime

Was Hamilton's Hungary solo start a good or bad look for F1?

OPINION: Different perspectives had Lewis Hamilton’s solo second standing start in Formula 1’s 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix as fabulous or farcical. But did it make the championship appear too silly for the sake of a moment of high-charged sporting drama?

Why unseen Hungary heroics could be Latifi's making Prime

Why unseen Hungary heroics could be Latifi's making

The chaotic start to the Hungarian GP set the scene for F1's less heralded drivers to make a name for themselves. Esteban Ocon did just that to win in fine style, but further down the order one driver was making his first visit to the points and - while the circumstances were fortunate - took full advantage of the chance presented to him

Formula 1
Aug 3, 2021
Hungarian Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Hungarian Grand Prix driver ratings

This was race that showcased the best and worst of Formula 1, producing a first time winner and a memorable comeback to a podium finish. Avoiding trouble at the start and astute strategy calls were key to success, but where some drivers took full advantage, others made key errors that cost them dearly

Formula 1
Aug 2, 2021
The "heart-breaking" call that led to Ocon's Hungarian GP triumph Prime

The "heart-breaking" call that led to Ocon's Hungarian GP triumph

Set to restart the red-flagged Hungarian Grand Prix in second, Esteban Ocon had some doubts when he peeled into the pits to swap his intermediate tyres for slicks. But this "heart-breaking" call was vindicated in spectacular fashion as the Alpine driver staved off race-long pressure from Sebastian Vettel for a memorable maiden Formula 1 victory

Formula 1
Aug 2, 2021
The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Prime

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021
Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track' Prime

Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track'

Mercedes ended Friday practice at the Hungaroring with a clear gap to Red Bull thanks to Valtteri Bottas’s pace in topping FP2. But there are other reasons why the Black Arrows squad feels satisfied with its progress so far at a track many Formula 1 observers reckon favours Red Bull overall...

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks Prime

How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks

OPINION: Red Bull was justified to be upset that Lewis Hamilton survived his British GP clash with Max Verstappen and went on to win. But its attempts to lobby the FIA to reconsider the severity of Hamilton's in-race penalty were always likely to backfire, and have only succeeded in creating a PR disaster that will distract from its on-track efforts

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach Prime

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach

OPINION: It wasn't just the Verstappen/Hamilton clash that had the Red Bull and Mercedes bosses at loggerheads at Silverstone, with the nature of Formula 1's 2025 engines also subject for disagreement. But hopes to have loud, emotive engines that are also environmentally friendly don't have to be opposed.

Formula 1
Jul 29, 2021