On a day which should have been jubilant for Pierre Gasly turned into one of misery, as the Frenchman faced an embarrassing exit from Q1 at the Japanese Grand Prix.
Fresh off being announced as an Alpine driver for 2023 on a multi-year deal, Gasly would’ve most likely been hoping to put in a stellar qualifying performance; however, a brake disc issue left the AlphaTauri driver absolutely furious, with his team feeling the full wrath of his anger.
“I asked to wait! I asked to wait… why? Why do you do it with the other car and not with me,” Gasly shouted.
“There is no point doing the lap with no brakes. I can’t brake.”
The French driver and team-mate Yuki Tsunoda, who out-qualified Gasly, both locked-up several times during qualifying.
Both drivers complained about having no brakes, something which visibly cost Gasly on his final lap in Q1, as he locked-up at the Turn Nine hairpin.
The brake issue resulted in the Alpine-bound driver only managing to claim P17 for Sunday’s potentially wet race at Suzuka, who was considerably calmer in the media pen after the session.
Gasly is certain that he had the “potential” to make it to Q2, had he been able to “heat the tyres and brakes properly”.
“It was well until the second set, I think we were ninth at that time,” said Gasly.
“But the last attempt, we glazed the front left disc on the out lap. We know it is not the first time we have had this issue and when we are in traffic and we can’t heat the tyres and brakes properly, we are more prone to have this issue.
“That was why I asked to be held in the garage a little longer but it didn’t happen and then the last lap attempt went to waste.
“I had no efficiency and every time I braked, the front left was completely off so I was locking the tyre everywhere.
“I was disappointed not to go through because we had the potential to go to Q2, especially on a track like Suzuka, it is a shame not to deliver the best of the package we have.”
Interestingly, the 2020 Italian Grand Prix winner added that he experienced the same problem during qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix.
On that day, Gasly was also eliminated in Q1 after ending the session in P16, meaning he managed a position worse at Suzuka.
He wants the Faenza-based team to “have a look” into the issue, with the grid being so close that they need “everything” to be “working”.
“We need to have a look, I don’t have the answer,” added the 26-year-old.
“It is not the first time it has happened. I had the problem in Canada also in qualifying.
“We are fighting for hundredths of a second to go through so we definitely need everything on the car to be working at its best and it didn’t today.”