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“Grateful I’ll Be Able To Call My Family…” – Teary Pierre Gasly Left Shaken Up After Near-Tragic Incident at Suzuka

Published 10/09/2022, 8:20 AM EDT

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via Reuters

The Japanese Grand Prix had a dramatic start with tragic conditions similar to 2014. As Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz crashed in the very first lap, a recovery car entered the track that posed danger to the drivers that hadn’t caught up with the safety car. This included Pierre Gasly who faced a near-tragic experience and counts himself lucky to still be standing alive after the race.

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Yet to catch the safety car pack, the AlphaTauri Frenchman drove past the 12-tonne recovery crane at a speed of about 200kph by a mere distance of 2 meters, putting his life at almost risk. This incident took us eight years back, when the French driver, Jules Bianchi, on the very same circuit, rammed right into the recovery crane, and eventually lost his life nine months later.


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Extremely emotional Pierre Gasly shared with the world his feelings in a post-race interview, saying, “We’ve all lost a very good friend of ours eight years ago. We all love Jules. We all suffered a lot with the accident that happened. And I just don’t understand why eight years later we need to see a tractor in these conditions.”

“We are risking our life out there.”

“Today I’m just extremely grateful I’ll be able to call my family and my loved ones. Because it all could’ve been way more tragic. And I don’t think it’s respectful towards Jules and all his family and all of us that suffered from, uh, from his loss.”

“I think it was unnecessary to put this tractor out there. And obviously (I) got extremely, extremely scared,” Gasly exclaimed.

Gasly feared losing his life, and validly so; he shared his experience and highlighted the lack of respect for the loss of former F1 driver, Jules. He urges the FIA to take accurate measures to keep the tracks safe for drivers in the future.

A Fearful Pierre Gasly Stressed on the Unacceptable Conditions on the Track

In the extreme wet weather conditions, as Gasly zoom passed the tractor recovering Sainz’ F1-75, he expressed his discomfort on the fact that the tractor wasn’t even on the rubble, but on the actual racing line, leaving drivers vulnerable to life-threatening situations due to lack of accountability on others’ expense.

via Reuters

Gasly took to his radio as he was freaking out, he said“God! What the?! What is this tractor?! What is this tractor on track? I passed next to it. This is unacceptable! What has happened? Can’t believe this… I could have f***ing killed myself.”


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Furthermore, Gasly shared in the interview, he said, “If I lost the car in the same way that Carlos lost his car on the lap before? I was doing 200kph, but even at 100kph, it’s a 12 tonnes crane. If I hit it, I would be dead right now.”

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Not only this, but Gasly was also investigated by the stewards for going too fast under a red flag. Explaining the situation, he said, “I tried to slow down, not in an erratic manner, because if I slammed the brake, I would have lost the car and ended up in the crane.”

“For the future, what I want is for all my colleagues to be safe, in F1 and younger categories. Hopefully, we can finally learn from this situation,” Gasly said in conclusion.


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Watch This Story: The History Behind Pierre Gasly Estaban Ocon’s Infamous F1 Beef

Considering the hard work and dedication the drivers and teams put into the sport, whilst risking their lives, the FIA seems to be lacking the responsibility and accurate measures to keep them secure and safe. There is an utmost need to make sure that incidents like these never repeat themselves.



Nida Chakraborty

260 articles

Nida Chakraborty is a Formula 1 Author at EssentiallySports. After completing her undergrad from St Xavier's College with a degree in Psychology, she had gone on to take up multiple journalistic ventures in Radio and Television. Not only has she been a producer for Fever 104 FM, one of India's leading FM radio stations, but she has also worked for MTV and Channel V.

Edited By: Ranvijay Singh