AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly’s heart sank when he realised he was going to be undercut by several drivers under the Safety Car at the Singapore Grand Prix.
The Frenchman started the race sixth behind Alpine’s Fernando Alonso, and he initially passed the Spaniard on the first lap, before Alonso got the place back again.
The double world champion would later retire from the race due to a reliability failure, putting Gasly up to sixth behind Lando Norris.
He was passed by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, before pitting for a set of Slicks as the track started to dry up.
His change from the Intermediates turned out to be a premature one though, because his team-mate, Yuki Tsunoda, found the wall and caused a Safety Car.
That allowed Daniel Ricciardo, Lance Stroll and Sebastian Vettel to get the jump on the 26-year-old, who would eventually finish 10th.
Even before the Safety Car was deployed though, those on Inters were still finding pace, so it could, and perhaps should, have been a better result for AlphaTauri on Sunday.
“I must say I’m very disappointed because we were doing an excellent race, I was behind Lando and ahead of the two Aston Martins,” said Gasly in the media pen after the race.
“I don’t understand why we boxed so early, we didn’t have to, and we just took a massive risk and lost position, being overcut by the cars on the track.
“[In] Singapore we know how important track position is and today it cost us a lot, so I don’t fully understand why. We’ll have to review but for sure we left a lot of points on the table.
“It hurts because we have a target until the end of the year and today, I don’t think we did a good job.”
Gasly feels he could have ended sixth ahead of Stroll and Vettel had he been pitted later. Because of Verstappen’s mistake on the Safety Car restart, he also might have been clear of the reigning champion too.
“We are fighting these two guys, we had the potential to finish ahead of them and we just gave them a lot of points today,” he added.
“We still have five other races but clearly there was an opportunity and we didn’t grab it.”
Tsunoda took responsibility for the crash that ended his race, and arguable affected that of his team-mate.
“I wasn’t running in the points anyway, It just was difficult conditions. I just did a mistake by myself, just completely missed the braking point.
“Completely my fault and no excuses.”
Aston Martin’s haul of points in recent races has now seen AlphaTauri slump to ninth in the Constructors’ Standings.