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2018 F1

Hartley: A big apology for ‘scary’ qualifying incident with Gasly

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Toro Rosso rookie Pierre Gasly almost smashed into his teammate Brendon Hartley in the first session when Hartley was driving slowly due to a puncture. Gasly had to go into a runoff area to avoid a collision, ruining his lap.

The incident ruined Gasly’s chances of improving and left him irritated at over team radio. Gasly will line up 17th on the grid, Hartley made 19th ahead of Haas F1’s – Romain Grosjean, who suffered a gearbox failure on his first flying lap in Q1.

“It was a disaster, pretty upset about that,” said Hartley. “I hadn’t put a lap on the board before then both times yellow flags on my lap.

“Then I clipped the wall and through the left hander I knew I had an issue and slowed down, I was unaware Pierre was so close behind me.

“Obviously I was going half speed, trying to figure how bad the problem was and I completely messed it up.

“The problem is, with the walls, you don’t see them coming.

“I made a big mistake, I’m sorry for him. I owe him a big apology for getting in the way and nearly causing a huge accident.

“I’m disappointed how that went down. Not a good day.”

Gasly said: “It was really scary, the scariest moment of my career. I didn’t know if he was going left or going right.

“I don’t know what happened to Brendon, he slowed down massively. I was at 320kph and, honestly… he almost stopped, I tried to avoid him and I was sure I was going to crash.

“I could already see myself in the air, I don’t know how I avoided it, but it was a pretty scary moment.

“Maybe if he has a puncture it doesn’t help him. I am sure he didn’t do it on purpose, but he was on the line, I wasn’t sure if he was going to go on line or not.

“Maybe next time we need a bigger gap between [our] two cars.”

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