#21 Pierre Gasly (FRA – Prema Dallara-Mecachrome)
Qualifying 1: 3rd – Race 1 Grid: 3rd – Race 1 Result: DNF (accident)
Reverse Grid (Top 8) Race 2 Grid: 20th – Race 2 Result: 7th
GP2 Series: 8th – 47 points – after 8 of 22 races
Weather played a big part in round 4 of the GP2 series at the Red Bull Ring, catching out Pierre Gasly as he led Race 1 after a suberb battle through from third on the grid. The 20-year-old Frenchman went off into the gravel as rain showered the circuit and he could not restart.
From 20th on the grid in Race 2 the Red Bull Junior cut his way through to seventh and salvaged two points. Scant reward for a weekend where he was second fastest in free practice, third in qualifying and had seized the Feature Race lead in determined style.
"I took too much risk, and made a mistake when it's started to be wet. I feel sorry for the team who did a very good job. We will be back!"
A good start to the weekend
With a new surface there was a lot of work to do on Friday and the Prema team did it well. "It has been a good day overall which started with a P2 in Free Practice," explained Gasly. "We had a good baseline set-up since the beginning and then we went on to qualifying. With the first set we were on pole and with the second set the car felt very good."
"I improved a bit on my first lap, but on my second lap I was able to improve again and I could have been on pole without the traffic I found in the last sector, where I lost everything. In the end, we qualified P3 so on row 2."
A fighting Saturday
Making a great start Gasly followed Prema team mate Antonio Giovinazzi past pole man Sergey Sirotkin and the team mates raced away.
"It was really frustrating because we had a good start from P3. I was P2 and had a good fight into turn 2 with Sirotkin. I was able to overtake him in the first stages and then I started chasing Antonio with whom I created a gap behind. I eventually overtook him with the DRS and we had again a fight into turn 1 and turn 2."
"After that I felt really good with the car which was really fast. We were leading when some rain arrived in particular into turn 1 and turn 2 which made it a bit tricky. Then it hit the whole track. Arriving into turn 3 I braked a bit late and locked the inside wheel. I tried to downshift to stop the car and locked the rear which resulted in me stopping in the gravel. I could not restart so that was it for me. It's really frustrating to make a mistake costing us a lot today and I think we had the pace to do a very good result."
A soaking Sunday
The track was running with water for the start of the sprint race but it began to dry and Gasly did a great job of working his way through the pack. "Overall we did a good recovery. Starting from 20th, it wasn't exactly an easy race but there was a lot of action and overtaking. We started 20th and recovered up to P7 so I think it was a good day. It was quite tricky specially at the beginning, we gained some positions in the first few laps after a couple of good fights with Sirotkin and Antonio among the others."
"In the end it dried up quite quickly so we struggled with the rear tyres. Even if the pace was similar, it was very difficult to overtake. Recovering positions and scoring a few points was definitely positive but now we have to focus on Silverstone where we need to increase our tally again."