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Gasly: F1 drivers “are kind of artists”

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Pierre Gasly’s start to the 2022 Formula 1 season was not the best. He is currently P14 in the standings, 5 points behind teammate Yuki Tsunoda in P12. Gasly’s qualifying in Monaco was the next setback: he could not set another time in Q1 and started the Monaco GP from P17.

He didn’t want to leave anything to chance and warned his team that he would follow a risky strategy. Sunday’s rain in Monaco made the strategy chaos of the race perfect.

Gasly
Photo Credit: Mario Renzi via Getty Images

Gasly took risks: he was the first to switch from wet to intermediate tyres. Other drivers played it safe and stayed on full wets, but Gasly was not afraid to take the risk.

The first laps on the intermediate compound tyres were not easy, but as soon as the track improved, he became the fastest driver and quickly caught up with the other drivers in front of him.

Gasly’s overtaking manoeuvres

On lap 14, he was battling with Daniel Ricciardo for P12. In the Nouvelle Chicane, Gasly had to back off once more before completing the manoeuvre in the entry to the swimming pool. This place is somewhat unusual for the rare overtaking actions in Monaco.

But Gasly explained his idea behind the move after the race:

“It was pretty tight, but I was so much faster than these guys, I just needed to calm myself.

“I’d caught them so quickly, and then after you are like, OK, I want to pass, but it’s like if the guy is defending well, suddenly you’ve got no space on the right, no space on the left.

“Then you have to be creative. That’s what I tried to do. At the end of the day, F1 drivers, we are kind of artists, we need to find always new ideas.”

 

Rain in Monaco made conditions more difficult

The narrow roads in Monte Carlo are challenging as it is, but the rain completed Sunday’s chaos. After the race, all the drivers were convinced that they had escaped a crash like Schumacher’s.

Gasly agrees that he did not know “how many times I almost crashed”.

“But I needed it to work somehow. It’s also an exercise I really like. It’s a big challenge trying to find the grip, and I must say, today, driving-wise, was really good.”

Gasly eventually finished the race in 12th place but was classified as 11th due to Esteban Ocon’s penalty. So Gasly narrowly missed out on a valuable point for the overall standings.

“I’m a bit sad not to be rewarded with a point at the end, because I felt like I probably deserved it.

“We lost quite a bit of time in our first pitstop, six or seven seconds, second pitstop, like around three seconds. There’s 10 seconds of race time that we left that cost us probably a point.

“But in the end, there are a lot of positives to take from that weekend looking at free practice and the pace today, so that’s what we remember.”

The next race in Baku could bring surprises. The long start-finish straight is the eye-catcher for the race in Azerbaijan every year. Maybe Gasly can pick up another point then.

Feature Image Credit: Peter Fox via Getty Images

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