Gasly managed to secure the third position, trailing Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and McLaren’s Oscar Piastri.
The two frontrunners decided to make a pit stop at the conclusion of the initial lap to switch from the fully wet tires, a requirement set by F1 regulations. This decision was made after the safety car led the line-up once the delayed event began, marking another rain-affected day of the competition.
Verstappen had a positive outlook towards the FIA’s decision to start the shortened 11-lap race (previously scheduled for 15 laps), considering it “probably quite a safe view on things”.
However, when F1 Flow.com questioned if race control had executed all decisions accurately, Gasly held a different view.
Gasly’s perspective focuses on the persisting issue of reduced visibility for F1 drivers during wet conditions with the new generation of ground-effect cars. These cars tend to generate a massive volume of spray, spreading it over a wider area.
“I believe I share a slightly contrasting perspective from Max, given the feedback [till now],” Gasly shared at the post-race press conference.
“Certainly, you can only compare with your own situation. I was in the sixth position [behind the safety car during the formation laps], and I’m sure the conditions might feel slightly different if you’re leading or if you’re tailing. The visibility probably worsens as you go further back.
“However, my opinion alone isn’t enough, all 20 drivers need to be questioned based on their experiences. But, my visibility was almost zero.
“If Oscar or Max [had a crash] in the middle of the straight, I would’ve unavoidably hit them.
“I could hardly see 10-20m ahead, and even during tyre warming, it felt like…you were merely wishing for the best. I didn’t feel safe.
“Upon the restart, I was really hoping no one would drift off track or collide and end up stuck on the straight considering the known risks.
“The issue isn’t about the conditions, which were likely racetrack worthy from the first lap.
Pierre Gasly, Alpine A523, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14, Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-23
Photo by: Steven Tee / F1 Flow Images
“The real problem is the visibility. Currently, the amount of spray generated by these cars is tremendous – the water just hangs in the air.
“Being in P6, my visibility was near zero. I can only imagine how much worse it was for those at the rear.
“I had been wanting to box for intermediates from the get-go and this visibility issue only added to that desire.
“Because on the straight, it’s uncertain what might happen. It’s a tough call. While you want to race, I’m relieved everything went off without a hitch today.
“But all it takes is one car stopped at a wrong spot on the straight, and the situation can escalate rapidly.”
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Verstappen further explained that he “completely understands Pierre’s concerns,” stating that the spray problem has “deteriorated since I started in F1 [in 2015]”.
“Today, there were moments when I couldn’t even see the safety car, and I was leading,” Verstappen added. “That’s not even an F1 car.
“So, if we’re serious about eliminating this [spray problem], we can’t race in the wet if we desire good visibility.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Gasly’s Safety Concerns
What position did Gasly secure in the Spa F1 Sprint?
Gasly managed to secure the third position, behind Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and McLaren’s Oscar Piastri.
What was the main issue raised by Gasly during the Spa F1 Sprint?
Gasly raised concerns about the reduced visibility for F1 drivers during wet conditions with the new generation of ground-effect cars, which generate a massive volume of spray that impairs visibility.
What was Verstappen’s view on the decisions made by FIA during the race?
Verstappen had a positive view towards the FIA’s decision to start the race, even though it was shortened from the originally scheduled 15 laps to 11 laps, considering it a “probably quite safe view on things”.
What did Verstappen say in response to Gasly’s concerns about visibility?
Verstappen explained that he “completely understands Pierre’s concerns,” stating that the spray problem has “deteriorated since I started in F1 [in 2015]”. He added that sometimes, even leading the race, he couldn’t see the safety car.
According to Gasly, what was the real problem during the race?
Gasly expressed that the real issue wasn’t about the conditions, which were likely racetrack worthy from the first lap, but the visibility. He noted that the amount of spray generated by these cars was tremendous, making it difficult to see clearly.