After incurring penalties for impeding Carlos Sainz and Max Verstappen during separate incidents at the Barcelona track, Gasly has prompted a review of communication procedures within the Alpine F1 team.
Despite equalling Esteban Ocon’s qualifying position in Monaco, coming in fourth, Gasly’s cumulative six-place penalty dropped him to 10th. Further losses on the initial lap of the race saw him end up at 14th, before eventually making his way back up to score a point in 10th place.
In a bid to improve alerts for oncoming vehicles during practice and qualifying runs, Gasly met with his engineering team at the Enstone factory. The team discussed how to optimize the communication strategy with Gasly, focusing on the timing, relevance, and use of information being relayed to him.
“Between the Spanish race and now, Pierre, his engineers and I sat down for a comprehensive chat,” said team principal Otmar Szafnauer. “Our focus was on improving how we relay information, ensuring it is timely, accurate, and relevant, which will help us perform better.”
Szafnauer admitted that the Barcelona penalty had a severe impact.
“It was a regrettable situation,” he added. “The implications of starting fourth and maintaining that position versus dropping to 14th after the first lap are significant. It’s critical that if we qualify high, we also race high. We’re set to change a few things, particularly on Pierre’s side, as Esteban is more accustomed to working with our engineering team.”
In response to the confusion surrounding Gasly’s red flag during FP1 in Canada, Szafnauer clarified that it was not due to a driveshaft issue, as suggested over the radio. Instead, it was a malfunctioning spare steering wheel that caused the problem.
“We always test the spare steering wheels on both cars,” he explained. “They are only used during races if needed. But this time, there was an electronics issue with the spare steering wheel in Pierre’s car. Once we replaced it with the primary wheel, everything was fine. We’re currently investigating what exactly failed in the steering wheel’s electronics.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Alpine F1 Radio Procedures
What prompted Alpine F1 to review their radio procedures?
Alpine F1 decided to review their radio procedures after Pierre Gasly received penalties for impeding Carlos Sainz and Max Verstappen in separate incidents at the Barcelona race.
What was the outcome of Gasly’s penalties?
Gasly’s cumulative six-place penalty dropped him from qualifying fourth to 10th. He further lost positions on the first lap but managed to recover and score a point in 10th place.
What did the meeting between Gasly and his engineering team focus on?
The meeting aimed to improve communication strategies, including the timing and relevance of information relayed to Gasly about fast-approaching cars during practice and qualifying sessions.
Why did Gasly’s out-lap in FP1 in Canada result in a red flag?
Gasly initially suggested a driveshaft issue, but it was later clarified that there was an electronics issue within the spare steering wheel in his car, which caused the red flag. The team replaced the spare wheel with the non-spare one to resolve the issue.
How does Alpine F1 plan to address qualifying high but racing lower?
Alpine F1 acknowledges the need to ensure that if they qualify high, they also race high. They intend to make changes, particularly on Pierre Gasly’s side, to enhance their performance and race at the same level they qualify.